Tag: diabetes cost

Living with T1D in Honduras

To whoever reads this letter:

Hello, my name is Alejandra Solis and I’ve been a T1D for 10 years and also a Honduras citizen since I was born. Yes, you read it right, Honduras a republic located in Central America surrounded by so much natural beauty and many beautiful people who work hard to get their own food to their homes. Honduras has so much to offer starting by the many touristic places you can visit, the food, the beaches, the traditions and the people but pitifully our country has been destroyed little by little for our government and the people who lead it.

I’m not going to talk about Honduras and its lack of democracy, instead I’m going to talk about living with T1D in Honduras and what it implies, but before let me tell you a little bit about my story.

Honduras is a country with a very poor education system in all aspects which implies the poor knowledge people has about T1D (which is pretty common in almost all the world).

I was bullied at school due to my deficiency and because kids at my school didn’t know what it really was like to live with T1D. I missed a lot of days of school because of my high and low blood glucose so I had to change from school to school because of the bullying and the lack of consideration from the teachers. Not all the people at this schools were bad but because of the lack of knowledge they had about T1D they assumed living with T1D was all about not eating sugar and taking your medicine something really funny to me because if this was the case, then living with T1D would be as easy as counting 1 plus 1.

I graduated from high school and started studying medicine just months after my graduation but it was such a battle to get into medical school and not because of my grades, but because of discrimination from people who did not believe in me.

I’ve never been someone who lets diabetes stop me from achieving my goals and getting into medical school was not the case, so I fought to let this people who did not believe in me know that even though I live with T1D I could have the potential to be one of the best medical students. I remember going to my endocrinologist one day and he asked me what I was doing with my life and I told him I got into medical school, then he looked at me and laughed about me because he said diabetics do not have the potential to deal with all the pressure a medical student deals with specially when it comes to rotations.

I remember feeling destroyed by that comment because I considered my endocrinologist as the only person who actually understood what it was to really live with T1D. And to hear him laughing about my T1D just as the people who discriminated me at school made me feel as if I was alone and as if I could not continue in medical school. I wanted to give up but there they were, my parents, to make me believe in myself again so here I am thanks to them, making my dream come true.

Other than dealing with discrimination people with T1D suffer from lack of medication because many people has no job or they have a job but the payment is not enough to buy all medication and the right food to have a diet a T1D needs and enjoys.

The insurance company does not provides us with insulin so we must look for ways to get the money to but it and its because of this reason that many kids die from complications of not well treated T1D. We, the people who live in the city, have a better chance to get a decent job in order to have enough money to buy insulin and visit an endocrinologist and I’m aware that sometimes you have to adapt to a diet that is not the best one but the less expensive prevailing us like this from a diet we can enjoy to one that can help us keep our blood sugar regular and have long life.

I’ve had the opportunity of going to many towns in Honduras and watch by myself the misery in which these people live. Many of these people do not have a glucometer and therefore insulin which leads to the next point: their diet; it consists of rice and beans, soda as Coca Cola, coffee and sweat bread.

The government does not look for these people and the critic condition of their health which is something to worry about because many of this people does not even know they have T1D. Or even worse they do not know how to treat it because no one explains to them what it is and how to control it. Actually Honduras is in a very critical turmoil where many innocent people are being killed, immense amount of violence everywhere, there is not enough incomes to get food for a decent diet and definitely not enough money to buy insulin (not even for the people who live in the city).

My intention with this letter is to make the world see how hard living with T1D is. And even more in Honduras, to make them see the scars, the effort a T1D does in order to keep alive and to make them have conscious whenever they judge a T1D.

I claim people to have consideration and not only for the tiny holes on a T1D fingers from the pricks or the small dots on our body from the needles. The deeper ones, the scars that wont fade. The upset we go through, the days we cant control, the highs that makes us weak. The tears we, Honduran T1D, cry for not having the governments support, the emotions we cant control and the smile we force even on the hard days, the impotence I feel for not being able to help people with no job to get their treatment. It’s my wish to make this peoples voice be heard and make the world see that living with T1D is really a full time job not paid.

Sincerely,
a Honduran T1D.


This Disease Is a Catch 22 - Pay The Price Or Pay With My Life

This Disease Is a Catch-22: Pay The Price Or Pay With My Life

This Disease Is a Catch-22: Pay The Price Or Pay With My Life

By: Kayla Bushue

 

Almost 15 years ago I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes – an autoimmune, incurable disease.

I’ve been pretty lucky thus far. I didn’t take care of myself early on or really anytime; except for during my pregnancy and the time I’ve had my insulin pump. But I did some number crunching tonight just for funsies.

Per month BEFORE insurance the cost to keep me on planet earth is $1,353.37. That’s for insulin, infusion sets, and test strips alone not including hospital stays due to DKA. Now insurance foots a lot of that bill which I’m thankful for.

Credit: Kathy Austin

But why when I live in one of the top countries in the world does it cost me $16,240.44 per year to stay ALIVE???

I understand there are places that don’t have access to the healthcare that I have. Don’t get me wrong I’m grateful I have access to insulin, my pump, and test strips that keep me here everyday. I also understand the older I get the more complications I will have due to this terrifying and one day terminal disease.

But here is my perspective.

I pay a hefty chunk of change to keep myself thriving, OR I skimp by on the bare minimums and deal with the complications. This disease is a catch 22 – pay the price or pay with my life.

Credit: Kathy Austin

Something about having a disease like this doesn’t seem right. I either pay for my medicine or I don’t and deal with the death sentence. I just don’t get it.

In February my approximate cost over the last 15 years is $243,606.60. It’d be nice to have 2017 Aston Martin Vanquish in my driveway; rather than that almost quarter of a million going to keeping me alive.

Here is where you can learn more about the cost of type 1 diabetes, how to get involved, and how to help protect our rights for affordable healthcare.



 

The cost of diabetes

Diabetes Blog Week: How The Cost Of Diabetes Impacts Care

How The Cost Of Diabetes Impacts Care

Diabetes Blog Week (Day 2): Insulin and other diabetes medications and supplies can be costly.  Here in the US, insurance status and age (as in Medicare eligibility) can impact both the cost and coverage.  So today, let’s discuss how cost impacts our diabetes care. Do you have advice to share? For those outside the US, is cost a concern? Are there other factors such as accessibility or education that cause barriers to your diabetes care?

This is a topic that I have personally dealt with first hand. The cost of diabetes DOES impact our care.

When I was 19 years old-

I was no longer living with my parents. I was dropped from insurance and was pretty thrown to the wolves (as you would say). I worked a minimum wage job and wasn’t provided benefits. The money I did make went to rent, food, and the insulin that I could afford.

The status quo is that “diabetes is manageable”. I would agree, but only when you have the supplies needed to manage.

 

I only got by—but I wasn’t thriving. I used short acting insulin as my 24/hr insulin by just syringe (which is heavily risky). I then had to re-use syringes until it became painful to use them. I couldn’t afford test strips and would maybe check my blood sugar once or twice a day. Seeing a doctor was completely out of the question at the time.

I applied for Medicaid and Medicare due to income and disability. But was later denied because I didn’t fit into the criteria. I was devastated and felt helpless. I eventually found the patient assistance programs through the pharmaceutical companies that provided the insulin that I use.

Years later-

I do have insurance and I do have the cool gadgets and necessities. I can’t even begin to tell you how much having access to healthcare coverage means to me. Having what I need in order to live a full functioning life.

I’m still trying to catch up in life from the years that I was suffering. I believe it does take a toll on an individual or family financially/emotionally/ and it affects the ability to prepare for the future.

With diabetes it’s all about trying to survive from one day to the next—and cost should not be an issue.