I was super excited when I discovered there was a Diabetes Blog Week and even more thrilled to participate this year! When I first was diagnosed I felt absolutely alone and knew nothing about the disease. Even though I have an amazing supportive family I had never felt such strong isolation before. How can they truly know what its like... to plummet to 40 BG shaking, sweating speech slurring or to skyrocket to 300BG, nausea, exhaustion unquenchable thirst. And worse yet, to have all those symptoms in one day, more like even the same hour.When I discovered the blog world and social media, I realized I wasn't alone. Other people were going through the same thing, changing their infusion sites,not changing their lancets, it was an extremely comforting feeling that I hope to impart to others...you are NOT alone.
If I could change the world?
Well there is a lot I would do, wiping out diabetes would be one of them. I have a lot of pet peeves when it comes to this disease, probably the same as all of you. Like picking up my prescriptions when I could use that money on a pair of Jimmy Choos (yes, really it's that expensive), charging insulin on my credit card, or the fact that my pump could be a serious downpayment on a car. I don't know how to change the medical field, I don't even have suggestions but I know that something has to be done. To be 20 years old with a young family, student loans the last thing I needed was the insumantable cost of diabetes. In fact when I first received my diagnoses I laid in bed and sobbed. Not about the needles, the health implications or even just the exhaustion. No, I cried about the cost. This expensive disease that would cost my family, that would drive us into debt or at best take away family vacations. I have been without insurance before, charging or accepting gifts from family for insulin. I have had, for a lack of a better term, crappy insurance with high deductibles paying for everything out of pocket. I have also had reasonably good insurance that covers everything for the most part. This roller coaster will never end, just like my blood sugar fluctuates, so will my co-pays, it's just a fact. It's not fair to watch others buying luxury items while I am still writing out a check every month for my insulin pump. But pity party aside, i've learned that life isn't fair and that I am not alone.
Whether its diabetes or any other chronic health condition we are all burdened with the fact that we are, well, a financial burden. Over the years I've stopped grimacing over every copay and just integrated it as part of the household budget. I've made some peace with it, but the fact remains that diabetics are faced with a mountain of health issues and worrying about whether or not they can afford life saving medical devices and medications is really just pitiful. Can you really blame us for not always testing 8 times a day, or reusing lancets or expired insulin bottles? Especially when times are tight we tend to put ourselves last and our family first. A tough lesson I learned was that doing just that only hurts your family more, they need you, strong and healthy. I wish I had more solutions besides a passionate rant, but alas that's all I have. Maybe on day diabetic care will be made easily available to all..or maybe just maybe, we can wipe it out completely.