Whether you are a Type 1 or a Type 2 diabetic or any part of the diabetes community, remember we have come a long way since Banting and Best (and the doggies…thank you to the doggies). We have drugs that keep us alive and kicking along with technology that gets slicker every year. Yes, I kvetch and kvell about how expensive it all is, but when it comes right down to it, I’m so very grateful that we can afford insulin. I love my life and look forward to a long one. (Yes, one without diabetes would be better, but, well, you know…)
You’ve heard that little ditty about: “I complained that I had no shoes until I met a man who had no feet.” Well, I met a woman who had no feet. (She had feet, but you know where I’m going, right?)
I’m currently dissecting our new insurance plan that comes with John’s new job in another state where he is and I am not. (Must. Remember. To. Breathe. Occasionally.) The questions I had regarding coverage of my insulin pump and continuous monitoring supplies had me calling the HR department, where I spoke with a very nice lady who gave me all the info I needed…and more.
We were commiserating about the obvious lack of detail in the documentation that insurance companies give you and how everything these days requires calling them to check on what’s covered. She gave me some great news about my prescription coverage and I shared with her that my old coverage had me essentially paying out of pocket for bottles of insulin and strips until it finally kicked in. She was shocked… and then she shocked me.
“I’m currently in a protracted argument with the insurance company over one of my prescriptions. My doctor said it was approved, but they’re now telling me it’s not. It costs $17,000 every three weeks and they’re denying it.”
Never met this woman, but I can say with certainty that this prescription is not for cosmetic or non-essential reasons. She needs it (or her doctor says that she needs it) and whoa… what do you do? I asked her and her simple reply?
“I keep fighting.”
Life is not a contest of who has it better or worse. I am full of “first world problems” as we like to joke around the house, but as much as I complain about my lack of shoes in the diabetes/insurance sense, I am forever cognizant of those who have no feet.
I don’t know what the solution is (and thank the universe that I don’t have to figure it all out), but there has to be a better way to give those who need lifesaving medication to get the access they need without bankrupting them. (And those who don’t have access to insulin at all? There are organizations to give insulin to those in third world countries, but there are a lot of cracks in the U.S. medical system, too.)
What I do know is this: When you meet someone who has no feet, you help them in any way you can, even if you have no shoes.
That’s why I advocate.