Tag: insulin

To Every Warrior Battling Diabetes, This Is For You

To Every Warrior Battling Diabetes, This Is For You

Hey warrior —

I just want to say you’re doing amazing! Even on the days you feel weak. The days you feel tired. The days you feel you’ve had enough. Especially on those days because that’s when you’re fighting your hardest. Your vulnerability and even your weaknesses make you strong. Make you powerful, resilient, unstoppable.

You’ve made it thus far. I mean look how far you’ve come!

Whether you’ve been diagnosed for a day—a week—1 year—5 years—20 years, you’re beating all the odds against you heroically. You continue to hold the weight of the world on your shoulders day in and day out with such profound grace and humility.

Don’t let those crazy numbers that show on the blood sugar meter discourage you from your success.

I’m sure you might see at least one “high” or “low” number today. If so, keep going. If not, keep going. Either way, you’re winning because you don’t let diabetes stop you from living. 

Those needles that create those scars? Well, they tell a story.

A story about how you wake up everyday to fight the same demons that left you so tired from the night before. You should never be ashamed because it just means that you are stronger than diabetes—and you have the proof to show for it.

Next time you go to take your insulin—just know you’re not alone.

Try to not to let the fear overwhelm you and dwindle your spirit. This is an incredibly difficult and daunting challenge. Where you don’t always know what’s ahead. But you were given the strength to face this challenge. Just take a moment and marvel at what an amazing gift it is to just be alive. To be all that you can be. Go show the world how you live beyond this disease because it doesn’t define you.

Ask yourself today –

“How you can use this disability to empower others?” How can you turn a negative into a positive?” Be bold enough to raise your voice. Speak for what matters, speak for others who don’t have a voice. Be the light in someone’s darkness. Use this as a higher calling for that there is a purpose in your struggle and all that you go through. Take the reins—because today you got this!

You are amazing.

You are heroic.

You are a warrior.

Drug Companies Are Profiting Huge As Diabetics Struggle To Afford Their Life

Drug Companies Are Profiting Huge As Diabetics Struggle To Afford Their Life


It’s of no surprise that many of Americans are struggling to afford their prescription drugs as prices continue to rise. But yet, little attention has been brought to the diabetes community. Where millions are dependent on a drug (hormone) that is needed everyday to stay alive.

Diabetes History

Diabetes has been around a very long time. There was a prescription for frequent urination, its most common symptom, on an Egyptian papyrus dating back to 1500 B.C.

Drug Companies Are Profiting Huge As Diabetics Struggle To Afford Their Life

But it wasn’t until 1921 when a Canadian doctor named Dr. Frederick G. Banting and a medical student, Charles H. Best discovered insulin. Before insulin, the only treatment for Type 1 Diabetes was a starvation diet that inevitably led to death.

Type 1 Diabetes is an autoimmune disease where your pancreas shuts down and no longer produces insulin. Type 2 Diabetes is where your body is resistant to insulin or doesn’t produce enough.

In 1923, Dr. Frederick G. Banting sold the patent to the University of Toronto for $3 in hopes to ensure that no company could have a monopoly over this life-sustaining medication and everyone could have access to it. The discovery has transformed diabetes from a death sentence into a manageable disease.

Drug Companies Are Profiting Huge As Diabetics Struggle To Afford Their Life

Dr. Banting believed insulin was a gift to humanity.

But once the University gave pharmaceutical companies the right to manufacture the drug royalty-free, diabetes quickly became their most profitable cash cow.


Insulin is a billion-dollar industry with zero low-priced generic versions on the market. While most name-brand drugs have generic versions that cost less than half the price, insulin is different.

Drug company officials defend their actions, saying they must bring in enough money for research and development. But critics say companies are hiding behind the innovation argument and are really just angling for bigger profits as the demand continues to rise for the drugs they sell.

There has been debate whether these newer versions are worth the cost. The replacing insulin derived from animals with a genetically engineered human form has been beneficial. But beyond that, the cost is still high for the older and newer insulins on the market, and insurance companies decide what they will cover regardless.

When accused of price hikes, blame also gets placed on the middlemen. The middlemen happen to be the wholesalers, pharmacies, and pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs). PBM’s are blamed for taking a piece of the pie. The rebate system is based primarily on the percentage of the drug’s list price. So as drug prices continue to rise, the rebates do as well. Meaning everyone benefits in the end, as long as everyone gets their share.

Insulin Prices Are Continuing To Rise

The price of insulin that has continued to rise over the years has led many into debt, bankruptcy, and even to the point of rationing insulin (which can cause complications or death). Millions of diabetics and their family members are struggling more than ever to afford not only their insulin but food and other basic necessities.

While there are patient assistance programs available, not everyone qualifies. One must apply and meet specific requirements. If accepted, a PAP may not always cover the insulin that a patient is recommended to use. Insulin isn’t a ‘one shoe fits all’ type of medication.

The United States has the highest cost of drugs compared to other countries.

Drug Companies Are Profiting Huge As Diabetics Struggle To Afford Their Life

Insulin is monopolized by the 3 big pharmaceutical companies — Eli Lilly, Sanofi, and Novo Nordisk — and the price for the insulin products made by those manufacturers has risen astronomically over the last decade. Humalog, a form of insulin that carried a sticker price of $21 a vial in 1996, today costs $255. A 34-year-old form of insulin, Humulin, priced at $17 a vial in 1997 now costs $138 a vial. Many diabetics also may need more than one vial of insulin a month.

The American Diabetes Association’s board of directors is calling on Congress to hold hearings to investigate dramatic increases in insulin prices and to take action to ensure that people have affordable access to the essential drug.

The Diabetes Community Is Speaking Out

Many in the diabetes community (whether diabetics or parents) are taking to social media in the form of hashtags and elongated posts to express their frustration and desperation for change. The desire of millions is to find a cure for diabetes. But many have come to grips with the assumption that the cure will never come because the pharmaceutical companies won’t allow it. Our lives are in the hands of pharmaceutical greed and we need the price gouging of life-sustaining medication to end.

Drug Companies Are Profiting Huge As Diabetics Struggle To Afford Their LifeDrug Companies Are Profiting Huge As Diabetics Struggle To Afford Their LifeDrug Companies Are Profiting Huge As Diabetics Struggle To Afford Their Life

Bernie Sanders has recently brought attention to the Justice Department to investigate price increases and possible price collusion. But the insulin drug companies later rejected accusations.

President Donald Trump has also shared his dismay with the drug companies on the campaign trail and in recent press conferences. His interest is in finding solutions to fix the broken prescription drug market.

“They are getting away with murder”

The nation faces a diabetes epidemic

Nearly 6 million Americans — young and old depend on insulin to stay alive. Insulin is not a luxury, it’s a necessity of life. We need transparency, affordability, and access to all. 

Insulin is our right because, without it, we die.

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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We Are Dying For a Cure

We Are Dying For a Cure

We Are Dying For a Cure

By: Eddy Murphy


I’ve fought off writing about diabetes in an honest and truthful way for almost fifteen years. I guess it’s taken me that long to come out of a state of denial, becoming more intimate with it than anything I’ve ever been passionate about.

Perhaps my shame is what has gotten the best of me. I never wanted to admit that, by default, I was weaker than everyone else around me. It has taken me this long to realize that I’m stronger than everyone I know.

I’ve hazily confronted death more than fifty times, waking up in a hospital more than once, or coming to my senses watching my mother wince in pain, holding her belly, saying I inadvertently punched her in the gut while in the throes of a hypoglycemic seizure.

We were both soaked in orange juice turning sticky, when whatever sugar made its way into my bloodstream, brought me back from the brink of death. And because of times like these, it has been hard for me to accept my worth as a human being.

I hate drawing insulin out of a syringe, knowing it could be my last.

I hate doing my necessary rituals of survival in front of my friends, backpacking through the mountains of my heart, because, in the moment, everything else is beautiful.

I just want to revel in the earth that is my home, and then I have to confront this ugly thing, grab it by the horns and tell it I’m not going anywhere. Not now. I’m going to live this moment.

There’s this superficial feeling I get, where I am validating myself by taking type 1 diabetes on, thirty miles from nowhere while experiencing the most beautiful places I have ever been. As if I’m doing things most other people are afraid to do, while being at the mercy of the whims of an overpriced drug that I have to love and hate simultaneously. It is a feat to come out of every trip into the mountains unscathed, deflecting a scythe with a smile.

Before, I would have life-altering lows to bring me out of my denial. I would only check my sugars 3 or so times a day, not catching highs until way beyond their reign. And seldom would I realize I was two glucose tabs away from death, getting closely reacquainted with diabetes when my hands began to seize and I couldn’t speak. Thankfully, circumstances have worked in my favor all these years. Someone was there, or I caught the tail end of consciousness before things went too far down.

Now, I’m a man. A man who feels his age and more. I love a woman with every flame left in my soul. I am grateful that someone accepts me for all my shortcomings; more importantly, I am grateful that someone appreciates the enormity of my life’s battle. What a human thing it is to love. It is the music of the human experience and I get to embrace it after all these years of not feeling human anymore.

Consequentially, I feel the need to revel in every moment I spend with this beautiful person. My life has been an imitation of the real thing for fifteen years until now. Love knows no diseases. Because of this, I am even more angrier now than ever before about the ugly greed of the pharmaceutical companies, the FDAs lackadaisical approach to pushing forward a potential cure/cure’s, and the ignorance of the general public to the suffering of 1.2 million people who have been stripped of a future.

I mean this in every sense. 1.2 million people in this country could die at any moment, yet ‘with proper management could live a happy and fulfilling life’.

Because of the requirement of insulin and the perpetuity of type 1 diabetes, it is a cash cow for large pharmaceutical companies and doctors across the country. And if my life ends in tragedy, I can be blamed by citing “improper management”. At least they got their bag of silver, and will still do so as long as this disease remains with a cure and profitable.

So for now, my wallet is being squeezed dry, and I’m being forced to be grateful for just being alive. I have no assets. I will never be able to afford the land in Montana I want. In truth, I am living in what would amount to Great Depression standards of living. And the public doesn’t know or care because the majority of the media attention is given to type 2 diabetes.

No one gives heed to our deadly fight because diabetes as a whole is linked to laziness and poor diet.

In the meantime, all of our non-type 1 friends will continue to make jokes about us shooting up drugs and having too much sugar as a kid. Many in the support community are cute about type 1. “Christmas is a time to be grateful” and “T1D looks like me”. I am not sure if censorship helps the cause. Trying to make others aware of this dangerous disease by dodging the real tragedy of it is what has stunted any real instigation of progress in the type 1 activism culture. Victims cower in the corner, unsure of how to convince the general public of the need for a cure.

The last fifteen years I resigned my unworthiness to type 1 diabetes, and couldn’t fathom the heroics of what I did by walking through the mountains to improve my life. I couldn’t fathom my own significance in educating people about the injustices we face everyday, and the urgency of this moment.

We are dying for a cure.  

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11 Type 1 Diabetic Misconceptions

11 Type 1 Diabetic Misconceptions

I’ve had Type One Diabetes for quite some time now - 14 years to be exact - and within those amount of years I’ve become fully aware of how misunderstood Type One Diabetes actually is. I’ve heard an endless amount of diabetic misconceptions. It’s hard living in a world where you’re placed in a category with Type Two Diabetes as well. Don’t get me wrong, we all fight a hard battle - but it’s each our own. It’s two completely different diseases in my eyes.

I’m here to set the record straight…

(11) Type 1 Diabetic Misconceptions:

1. “Did you get diabetes from eating sugar or gaining weight?”

Type One occurs when your body attacks the cells in the pancreas that produces insulin. There’s no specific rhyme or reason behind why this happens. It’s possible to occur due to genetics or environmental causes, but there is no significant proof to back these theories. But what I ate or my weight was definitely not the cause. This is on the top of the list of most common diabetic misconceptions.

2.”Should you be eating that?” 

Yes, I can eat that slice of cake! The myth that diabetics can’t have sugar needs to be thrown out the window right now! I can eat sweets in moderation, along with proper insulin management.

3.”Does using needles hurt?”

Of course, they hurt but I don’t have a choice in the matter. I don’t enjoy having to poke myself several times a day. But unfortunately, I have to in order to stay alive.

4.”My Grandma has diabetes”

Okay, stop right there. Yes, there are Type One Diabetics out there that are grandmothers, which I can totally relate to. But when you finish the sentence with “well she has Type Two” - “she manages with pills” - or “she just has to diet”,  let’s not compare.

5.”Shouldn’t you have this figured out by now?”

No, I wish diabetes was that easy. It’s like trying to figure out a Rubik’s cube every day, only for something to change, and have to start all over again. I can never perfect my diabetes. I constantly need to make adjustments, and all I can do is try to manage my diabetes to the best of my ability with proper diet, insulin, and exercise.

6.”Can you have kids?” “Will they get Diabetes?”

Yes, you can have children with diabetes. You’re considered at a higher risk, but with proper control before and during pregnancy, you’re less likely of complications. Statistics show the odds may be greater with your children getting Type One, but on the other hand, there’s plenty of Type One Diabetics (such as myself) where this diagnosis doesn’t run in the family. So who’s to really say?

7.My sugars low - “Does that mean you need insulin?”

Absolutely not! That would be life threatening in this situation. When my sugar is low I need the energy from food to be able to function normally.

8.”What’s your blood sugar?” “Is that good or bad?”

Honestly, I really can’t answer this one. I’m constantly aiming for a perfect blood sugar number. Trying to keep my blood sugar in a good range is like walking a tightrope, hoping not to fall. I live in a different normal of what’s “good or bad” with my blood sugars, compared to non-diabetics. I have to maintain a good control while being able to function every day.

9.”Let me give you some advice.”

Are you a Diabetic? Are you a physician? If not, just please stop! Just because you can talk the talk - doesn’t mean you can walk the walk.

10.”It could be worse.”

Of course, it could be. I’m thankful that I have a disease that can be managed and can still live a long life. But please don’t make light of the struggle that I go through. It’s not the best situation, but I’m making the best out of it.

11.”I heard there’s a cure.”

There is no cure, however, there continues to be research conducted in order to find a cure. Currently, there are future prospects, but all we can do right now is keep fighting and pray for a cure in the near future.

What’s are some diabetic misconceptions that you despise? Please share! ***

diagnosed with type 1 diabetes

The Day I Was Diagnosed With Type 1 Diabetes

The day I was diagnosed with Type 1  diabetes - was the day that changed my life forever.

I was 12 years old at the time—just a few months away from my thirteenth birthday. It was during Christmas break from school.  A few days had passed, and I started feeling very weak, lethargic, thirsty, and I lost a lot of weight. All I wanted to do was rest. I went to my mother and told her how ill I was feeling. She didn’t think too much of it at first. I was commonly sick with viruses that go around, which we happened to be in the middle of flu season. But this wasn’t the flu—no, the symptoms were worsening and something felt much different. A few more days had gone on, and my mother finally noticed that I wasn’t getting better. I looked almost as terrible as I felt at the time.

My mother took me to the closest hospital to get examined. The doctors ran several tests, which felt like it took hours. At this very moment, I just wanted to feel better. I had no idea that my world was about to change forever. The doctor then came in and gave my mother and I a preliminary diagnosis, that the tests are showing “diabetes”. “Diabetes! What’s that?”. Like most people, especially at my age, I wasn’t aware of what diabetes was. I had no idea what was going on. I then had to be transported to an All Children’s Hospital for further evaluation and treatment for a blood sugar above 900!

When transported, the doctor’s that began treating me, were frantically surprised that I wasn’t in a diabetic coma for hyperglycemia and DKA. It’s shocking that I was still able to speak or “function”. I remember thinking the days prior and how I was unaware at the time that my pancreas had failed me. I was poked and prodded at for an IV insertion. They couldn’t find a vein (of course), and eventually had to use my hand. All during this, I was tired and confused. I remember just feeling the urge to sleep, not wanting to open my eyes. This feeling is so hard to describe—I had felt like something had taken control over my body.

It was all starting to get real, as I was officially diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes from the All Children’s physicians. I remember that my mother was in shock and trying to hold it emotionally together for my sake. It was just me and her in the emergency room. I thought— well, maybe everything is fine. “How terrible can it really be? “Type 1 Diabetes? “What’s Type 1?” Maybe it’s the good kind, I thought.

I don’t recall feeling any emotion at the time towards the news. I think it was really hard for me to grasp the seriousness of what was going on. It just wasn’t processing quite yet. The only thing that stood out to me was the reaction of my mother crying. That’s what really let me know that something was not right.

It quickly became an eye opener when receiving the first needle given to me, from the nurses. I was told that I was going to have to give myself injections several times a day. I honestly didn’t know how I was going to do this. I couldn’t even look at a needle without squirming. I remember asking my mother, “how long do I have to do this for?” The reply I received was “for the rest of your life.” Those are words that were hard to swallow and still live vividly in my mind. I knew I didn’t want to do this, but I didn’t have a choice in the matter.

I watched plenty of videos from the hospital that gave a quick 101 on what Type 1 Diabetes was all about. How it happens and the treatment for it. “But why?” I kept asking. “Why me?” That question never got answered for me. I don’t think anyone could give me the answer I was looking for. Leaving the hospital, I left as a whole new person. With insulin, syringes, blood sugar meter, and snacks in hand.

I left as this person I didn’t even know yet. The person it would take me years to find. How this disease would now shape me into the person I will become. I didn’t know the severity of the condition I was now diagnosed with. Or how I would be navigating my way through life with insulin. Moving mountains that I never thought I would have to move. The day I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes …changed me forever.

Little did I know this journey had only begun…

Type 1 diabetes signs and symptoms can come on quickly and may include:

  • Increased thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Extreme hunger
  • Unintended weight loss
  • Irritability and other mood changes
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Blurred vision
  • Nausea/Vomiting

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