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Tuesday, May 16, 2017

D-Blog Week 2017: The Cost of a Chronic Illness

Insulin and other diabetes medications and supplies can be costly. 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?

I am incredibly fortunate.
I mean yeah, I have diabetes, and it sucks, but it does not suck as much as it could.
I am incredibly fortunate to live in Canada, where healthcare accessibility is not dependent on one's financial status. I am fortunate to live in British Columbia, where our Fair PharmaCare program takes care of a fair amount of my prescription costs - so this means not only insulin, but also test strips, pump sites, cartridges, etc. (Still doesn't cover the tape or the glucose tablets or quite enough strips, but it takes care of a fair amount - especially in new pump years where I get everything 100% covered really early on).

I am fortunate to still be on my parent's extensive extended medical plan. I am fortunate that my parents still pay for all of my medical supplies. I am fortunate enough to be able to afford an insulin pump - and the one of my choice at that - a continuous glucose monitor (out of pocket - we don't get insurance coverage for CGMs here yet :/), enough strips to test as much as I want, and a stock of supplies that has lasted me since December. (I honestly question if I will need to buy sites this year...)

I am fortunate to have been connected with an excellent educational and medical team in pediatrics, and an equally-just-differently excellent educational/support/medical team in adult care. There were no barriers to my diabetes education or to my medical care.

I am fortunate to have found a community - several communities, in fact - who are supportive and open and there 24/7. I am fortunate to have found the strength within myself to have reconnected with these communities after losing touch for several years.

There are no financial, accessibility, educational, or other external factors that cause barriers to my diabetes care. There's anxiety, there's fear, there's burnout, and there's stress, (which are all a huge cost and I am still dealing with that debt) but those are all me.

I realize how lucky I am. It hurts my heart that not everyone has the same opportunities and fortunateness (which is actually a word I looked it up) and accessibility and knowledge as I do. Diabetes definitely sucks, but it could suck a lot more.

I know that I am fortunate. I know that because I have these opportunities and this access and this coverage, that diabetes is certainly easier to handle than if I were in a different situation. However, I am a strong believer in the fact that your suffering is never belittled by someone else's suffering. We all have a right to our own struggle, because it is just that - our own.

For me, diabetes doesn't cost a whole lot. That does not mean that I struggle any less.


  1. You are so right. Right now, I don't have good coverage but even years that I did, diabetes was still hard. Sometimes the emotional cost is more than the financial one.

  2. Oh yes, the struggle is a huge cost as well! Hugs.