#DBlogWeek Day 2: The Cost of a Chronic Illness

Damn. It’s expensive. Literally and figuratively.

OH BOY! So…. I have ALL OF THE THOUGHTS on this subject! I firmly believe in “check your privilege” so- I’d like to acknowledge that as a white, straight, cis-woman (with educated parents- which helped lead to a foundation for me relating to a lot of things 

There is so much going on when it comes to not just diabetes but chronic illnesses and disabilities.

So today, let’s discuss how cost impacts our diabetes care. 

Where I am now relating to my financial situation is VERY different than it was 2 years ago, 4 years ago, and over 10 years ago. I went from an upper-middle class situation to hovering around or below the poverty line. I worked basically full time during most of college- and was able to attend because of scholarships and something called children’s medical services.

I would hoard my supplies because I couldn’t trust my insurance. I had to pick and choose aspects of my care to focus on, like mental health.

There are those actual financial costs. We all know them well. We all have grimaced in the line at the pharmacy. We’ve all calculated or thought about what we could have bought instead.

But then there are the other costs. Time. Frustration. Feeling like it’s too much- burnout. Sleep. Space in our brains. Guilt. and more.

But then- cost also impacts care- can you afford all of the appointments and tools for your insulin? Can you afford to get to the better clinics? Do you have the time? Survival mode takes a toll on your mental health and diabetes. The stigma and shame. The blame. For not having everything the community and healthcare providers throw your way.

Then- remember people with type 2 diabetes typically are of lower SES- and they’re probably not involved.

It all adds up. It really does.

Are there other factors such as accessibility or education that cause barriers to your diabetes care?  

I’d like to note that it all adds up- not just diabetes- other medications and supplies for healthcare. And other chronic illnesses add up as well. 

Can we even cover all of the things that impact access or create barriers? Probably not. (because everyone is SO different). And there are more impacts for cost and coverage too. It varies by state. Even with ACA. Not all created equally… 

Right off the bat though… this is what I think about-

  • Your type of insurance and the financial status that might determine what kind you have 
  • What state you live in
  • Where you live (rural, urban, wealthy, poor, etc)
  • SES (Socioeconomic status) 
  • Resources available to you- that you know about 
  • Your care providers
  • Things going on in your life
  • Politics
  • The tools you might need
  • Your job.  

And MUCH MUCH MORE.

Do you have advice to share?  

  • I try not to think about how much I’m spending TOO TOO much. It’s not as bad as when I had terrible health insurance. But still. When I had my health issues last summer. I had to stop keeping track of a budget because it stressed me out. 
  • If you’re comfortable with sharing your experience, do it. Especially when it comes to financial situations- especially around or below the poverty line. There’s stigma surrounding it- the more people who speak up- the more you won’t feel alone. The more people will realize that it’s an issue- and often there isn’t a lot of time to advocate (beyond your own advocacy to survive) if that’s where you are in life.
  • Advocate. Nuff’ said. (whatever that means for you!)
  • Try to be proactive– if possible- maybe that means you research things and plan ahead.
  • When you make comments about the latest and greatest technology or research, be aware of what you’re saying if someone says it might be difficult- for whatever reason- I bet financial is somewhere in there. I was once told to just “get better insurance” or pay for the things that are kind of luxury items out of pocket…. when I expressed my excitement that I got through a barrier with the company I had at the time.
  • Don’t throw away your supplies if they’re about to expire! Donate them or pave it forward.
  • Search for resources- especially local- you never know what you might find through your endo or community orgs!
  • Stay strong, but admit it sucks.

 

dblog week. pic.

The Cost of a Chronic IllnessTuesday 5/16: Insulin and other diabetes medications and supplies can be costly.  Here 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?  (This topic was inspired by suggestions from Rick and Jen.)

You can find the other posts for today, here

andddd- here’s the participant list!

 

Hey you! Yes, you! 

Let’s connect on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram (maybe even 2 or all of those!). 

If you enjoyed this post, please comment and share. I’d also appreciate your feedback.

and of course-don’t forget to keep up with “There’s More to the Story” via email! (Right sidebar towards the top).

We’ll both be glad you did! -Mindy

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8 thoughts on “#DBlogWeek Day 2: The Cost of a Chronic Illness

  1. Pingback: #DBlogWeek Day 1: Diabetes and the Unexpected | There's More to the Story: LIFE, Diabetes, and Mental Health

  2. Yes to this post! You did such a good job discussing all the different aspects that go into the cost of diabetes. Everyone is so different and even a different year can be so different for one person!

  3. Pingback: #DBlogWeek Day 4: #TBT: What Brings Me Down | There's More to the Story: LIFE, Diabetes, and Mental Health

  4. Pingback: #DBlogWeek Day 5: More than Diabetes | There's More to the Story: LIFE, Diabetes, and Mental Health

  5. This post is great. And I especially loved your advice of “Stay strong, but admit it sucks.” This is so important! I think we are so determined to not let diabetes stop us that we forget to remind people how damn hard it is. The other advice wasn’t too shabby either. Thank you so much for sharing!!!

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