Having a child with type 1 diabetes is hard enough. You know what makes it even worse? Nope not that. No sir not that either. That's right ma'm! NO insurance. Without getting into a long overdrawn story about why, how and when I was denied Medicaid and Nevada check up for Justice. I just want to explain the expenses that diabetics have. Now let me clarify none of these are luxury items, or what "only the rich diabetics should have". These items are what diabetics NEED to keep them alive! Lets start with the basic, most well known one. INSULIN. That's right. Your body, and my body makes insulin but people like Justice do not have that luxury. Yea I called it a luxury cause its something we all take for granted every time we every time, chew gum, or decide to sleep in late and not eat.
Diabetics can use up to 3 types of insulin a day. When Justice was using syringes, he was on 2 insulins. Novalog and Lantus. Without getting all technical in this blog on what they do. Lets just say one is so he can eat, and the other is so he can function the rest of the day. These vials last only 30 days and are $150.00 EACH. YUP. Insulin: $300 a month .
Now in order to take insulin, you need to know how much of it you will need. This is where the glucometer and test strips come into play. Now the one that we LOVE the Accu Chek Aviva is pretty pricey. The meters themselves are cheap. $20-$50 bucks. BUT the strips that you need to operate said meters cost about $100 for 100 strips. Sometimes more. Justice on average goes through 100 strips a week. That's about $400.00 a month. Luckily we were told about a year or so ago, after almost having our lights turned off so we can buy strips, that Relion and Walmart had partnered up to make affordable testing strips!! $50 for a 100 pack. While this is much better, and affordable, it is still out of pocket. So lets for sake of argument say strips every week $50-$100mStrips: $300.00 a month
Now depending on whether you are using syringes or a insulin pump, you will need an apparatus to give yourself the insulin that your life depends on. Syringes I found were the cheapest of ALL the supplies. $12 at Walmart for 100 syringes. Generally lasts about a month. Syringes: $15Now if you're using a pump which Justice and most children nowadays are. This is where things get really tricky. First of all the average price of a pump is anywhere from $4,000 to $7,000 depending on how advanced. After months of research, and being told "we can offer you 50% discount, if you pay cash" (right!), we found that Accu Chek offered an amazing financing program where we can get the pump now and just pay $100 a month towards the cost. Ok so now that's minimally $100 a month for the pump. Now for those saying "why not just let them use syringes then?" The pump gives better control over blood sugars, which not only affects them now but in the future. To prevent serious complications blood sugars need to be kept in range, and its proven nothing can do that like an insulin pump. That is at least my experience and opinion. Pump payment: $100 a month.
Now in order to use the pump , you will need infusion sets (small tubing and cannula devices that go in the body in order to distribute insulin, insulin cartridges, batteries, battery covers, iv preps, and I am sure I am missing something else but right now I am overwhelmed just writing this, while I look at my check book in the corner looking so frail.) Now I know that my payment for these things a month are cheaper than most because I pay cash and get an amazing discount from AccuChek. Pump supplies: $150 a month.
Now all the things I have mentioned above are the bare necessities. Nothing was mentioned of doctors appointments every 3months, or eye doctors, or glucose tabs, or bags to hold all these materials or medic alert subscriptions. What is the point you ask of my rant? And my shouting dollar figures at you all? Well its this: My son has a chronic disease. It cannot be cured with diet, exercise or cinnamon (another post, another time). This disease can also NOT be prevented. So for those of you questioning how much candy we have fed our kids, or what we did not feed them to cause this auto immune disease please sit down and read what I am about to say, and absorb it. THERE IS NO CURE FOR TYPE 1 DIABETES, NO PREVENTION AND NO ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE.
My son and other kids and adults all over require all the above medical supplies I spoke of, and for some of us that means we have to be short on rent, have the cable shut off, not be able to get the kids new sneakers fast enough, or buy not the best food to get you by. I would sell the clothes off my back, and everything I own if I had to, to make sure Justice had everything he needed to STAY ALIVE. And yes its that serious. I have written a petition, that once it has enough signatures I will be taking to my local congressman, and as far up as it needs to go.
Diabetic supplies are NOT a luxury. They are a necessity. No one should have to choose whether to pay their gas bill or have insulin. Or beg on the street to get some. Yea it happens, I've heard it and seen it. Diabetics need more than oxygen to live. Depriving them of it is a death sentence and is criminal. Help us fight for their right to live.
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