Tag: insulin prices

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.

a Honduran T1D.

Nobody Is Aware Of Diabetes

No One Is Aware Of Diabetes

No One Is Aware Of Diabetes

I wake up today with no saliva in my mouth and a dire quench for thirst. My insulin pump is still giving me insulin. I’m still hooked up to medical devices, but my body is resistant. Maybe due to illness, hormones, or because it’s a Tuesday. My blood sugars are high, much higher than a normal persons blood sugars. I’m tired, fatigued, and the feeling of mortality creeps in. I go to correct with insulin, drink water, and attempt to bring this down. But I know this won’t be the last time I experience this.

But no one notices.

I spent my day monitoring my blood sugars, calculating and measuring how much insulin to give myself. My dosing is only an educated guess, and I have to make these decisions everyday in order to stay alive. But nothing is ever the same or perfect. I’m constantly on a tightrope, hoping not to fall. I’ll do the same thing every single day but receive different results.

When I go to pick up my insulin from the pharmacy, I get this overwhelming sense of sadness. I realize that the same insulin that keeps me alive comes with a huge price. Insulin is one of the most expensive drugs in the United States, and yet I can’t survive without it. Financially, this disease has crushed me. I’m in debt just for trying to stay alive.

But no one cares.

Once I get home, I receive a notification that my blood sugar is low and dropping fast. I feel lightheaded, disorientated, and starving for glucose (energy). I go to the kitchen to grab anything I can find to raise my blood sugar. I feel alone, helpless, and I’m fighting to survive. It’s a near death experience, that I’ve experienced many times. A low feels like my body is shutting down. A low enough number could cause me to go unconscious, have a seizure, coma, or death.

But no one is aware.

The night follows with finding a diabetes joke going viral on the internet. Where it’s mocking the disease, assuming it’s caused by being lazy and eating poorly. This is where I stop and realize that no one notices, no one cares, and no one is aware because nobody actually knows about diabetes.

No one knows that diabetes kills more people than AIDS and Breast Cancer combined. No one knows that diabetes can be caused by an autoimmune disease. No one knows that children are dying from this disease. No one knows the overwhelming sense of fear of not knowing if your blood sugar will withstand the night. No one knows how it feels to experience the highs and lows.

No one knows of our desperation for a cure…

…Except the person living with diabetes.
And those caring for them.

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