It’s a rainy day here in North Carolina. I can hear the raindrops pinging against the windowsill and the occasional burst of thunder. It’s the perfect time to write.
This gloomy day invites me share some thoughts that have been percolating for months. Gloomy thoughts about money and all the costs the come with living with Type 1 Diabetes that people don’t talk about.
The topics people already discuss cover the rising costs of health insurance (I just typed in “unsurance” by mistake; but for some, that may be quite accurate. Ha. *sad face), the rising costs of insulin, the frustrations around insurance not covering equipment that make living with the disease easier, and the list goes on.
I too am frustrated about all these things – AND MORE! So much so that I had a minor breakdown about it recently. Yes, I freely admit that I had a breakdown because I wouldn’t blame anyone else for having one about these things too!
I try to be an optimistic person, and I’ve been successful. But a couple of months ago, it dawned on me: Diabetes HAS held me back despite all the pep-talks about not letting disease get in the way of the things we want to achieve. In all honesty, though, it has indeed held me back simply because it’s expensive.
All the costs incurred by simply living with Type 1 pile up over time. I was diagnosed when I was 14, and I’m now 30. Upon my diagnosis, my parents proceeded to pay thousands of dollars for my health insurance, my doctors visits, my prescriptions, my special sugar-free food – not to mention their peace of mind, time, and sleep. I went on to college, graduated and took the first job that gave me access to buy health insurance for myself, which meant that while my friends traveled, went on to grad school, or waited a little longer for a better job in their related fields, I was working in a coffee shop and waiting to hear my next assignment through a local temp agency. Hard-work and patience led me through that stage of life to where I am now – happily married and coaching others through life with Diabetes.
My friends without chronic disease never thought twice about spending hundreds of dollars on flights to visit each other. My friendships suffered because I could’t pick up and go with the rest of them. My career suffered because I couldn’t afford to wait on the perfect job to come around or I couldn’t afford to go to more school. I feel somewhat silly and spoiled for basically professing what we are all taught at one point or another: LIFE ISN’T FAIR.
That’s an appropriately gloomy thing to say on a rainy Monday. But rain or shine, I’m pushing forward. I’m optimistic as much as I can be. I’m real when I need to be. And I’m sharing my story.
**If you have thoughts or comments about similar feelings or actions we can take to make a difference, please comment below or shoot me an email.
Also, please consider contributing to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation as we raise money to help find a cure for Type 1 Diabetes. To make a donation or to join us for the One Walk in Raleigh on October 22, 2016, visit: http://www2.jdrf.org/site/TR?fr_id=6369&pg=team&team_id=207036
But it’s important for our communities, who are our support systems, to hear and understand how unfair it is in all the different ways. With knowledge, there is power. There is understanding through sharing. And with power and understanding, things can change.