One of the things that I gripe most about with having diabetes is the sheer cost of the disease. The doctor’s appointments, the test strips, the glucose tabs, the lancets, the pump supplies, the never-ending prescriptions that always need to be refilled. It never, ever ends. I get very frustrated when the Hubs and I are having a budget conversation and we have to include monthly medical expenses. It shouldn’t be this way. I feel angry and I feel guilty that my health has such an effect on our finances.
We spend about $300 per month on keeping me alive. I’m on meds for my thyroid, bum pancreas, birth control (for now), cholesterol, and of course there are the test strips (which my insurance refuses to recognize as a prescription, but instead are labeled durable medical equipment, do not even get me started), pump supplies, CGM supplies, the list goes on and on and on and on some more. Granted some of these things can be seen as “elective” – Birth Control, Pump, CGM, but in my mind, they are essential. One of the big reasons why I didn’t go on the CGM previously was the cost. How sad is that? I’m on my 10th day with this fancy new toy and I already see it’s amazing value. My numbers are already better (Currently cruising at 127 and holding steady, thankyouverymuch). As I said to my husband while venting my frustrations about the “diabetes cover charge”, the insurance companies should be handing insulin pumps and CGMs out like candy. (Pun intended). It makes me wonder what costs them more – the initial expense of getting people on these courses of treatment, or treating diabetes related complications down the road. I know that I am very lucky and very blessed to have insurance and the Hubs and I can afford our out-of-pocket expenses for me to best manage my disease. As we are planning to have a family, it is so important to both of us that we do whatever is possible to ensure that I am as healthy as possible come baby time!
While I recognize my fortune, I still get frustrated. I’d love an extra $300 per month to spend on myself (can we say mani/pedi time?) or to put towards our future, be it in a retirement fund or into savings for a new home. And then when I have the friends complaining that the cost of their birth control went up from $10/month to $20, or that they have to go to the doctor and are annoyed at their copay…it really makes me want to scream. Medical care is ridiculously expensive as is. Add a chronic disease in the mix and it just multiplies. I sometimes think people really have no idea how expensive this disease is.
But, what can you do? Not taking my meds isn’t an option. So we grin and bear it and move forward. It’s just a bitter pill to swallow sometimes, and today is one of those days!