Diabetes sucks!

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I just spent $711.64. Mortgage payment? Nope. Car payment? Nope. That’s a one month supply of insulin for my son. That’s our cost with the Humana discounted pricing apparently.

Two days before my son’s 13th birthday we found out he had Type-1 diabetes. Terrible, devastating day for us all. We had gone to the doctor with a complaint of a stomach ache. They originally diagnosed him as having a virus but once I mentioned that he had been especially thirsty lately they decided to take a blood sample and within a few minutes our doctor came back in and told us to pack a bag and head to our local Children’s hospital. Michael was one of the lucky ones, many kids are placed in intensive care unit their numbers are so high before they are diagnosed. We were in the hospital a day and a half and then came home to our new “normal life”. Normal life with diabetes is watching sugars and carbs when you choose your meals and it’s worrying about low blood sugars and high blood sugars. It’s your child having to prick his finger 5 or 6 times a day or more and then injecting himself with insulin. It’s knowing that a simple cold is enough to throw those blood sugars into a tail spin and make him very sick. Too much exercise or too little can create havoc. High blood sugars can make my sweet kid turn mean as Hell and low ones can make him disoriented and shaky. His dream of becoming a firefighter was put on hold, partially because of an over-zealous doctor that seemed determined to disqualify him rather than qualify him. I won’t even get started on that.

Money-wise diabetes is also a horrific disease. I work for a small company and as a result we change insurance companies often in an attempt to get better rates. Every year it seems I have to figure out what this particular insurance company and/or plan will and will not cover. The last few years we’ve had a high deductible plan. Currently I have to pay the first $3,000 of his care out of pocket, then everything will be covered. This means, IF he stays healthy, we will most likely meet his deductible by April. Insulin at $711 a pop each month and his test strips will probably be around $300 for approximately a 3-month supply. I’m currently waiting to hear if his insulin pump supplies are going to be covered with this insurance but last year with Anthem insurance it was about $800 for a three month supply of insulin pump pods. If they decide not to cover his insulin pump I guess we’ll have to look at a new pump and I’m sure that will eat up the remaining $2300 of our deductible and will really suck because the insulin pump he currently uses is the only type there is that is cord-less.

I hate discussing politics so I’m not going to get into that here. My health insurance has stunk with the Republicans and the Democrats in charge. I can tell you this though, anytime a life-saving medicine is 30% of your take home pay yet you still don’t qualify for help with the cost, then the system is broken!! We are fortunate that overall Michael is a good diabetic, he’s only had one trip to the emergency room for problems with his diabetes and that was just done in an abundance of caution from his trainers at the fire department when his blood sugars spiked and they couldn’t reach me. According to his doctors, they have many patients that make multiple trips to the emergency room because they aren’t vigilant about taking care of themselves. I’m very thankful I can keep Michael on my insurance until he’s 26.  He’s 19 now and he’s studying to be an ER nurse so I hope by the time he graduates that he will have access to a decent health insurance plan that won’t be such a hardship on him as it is on us right now.

Rant done. I’ll try to make my next post something a little more light-hearted.


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