This post is for everyone who does not live with diabetes.
Hi there… thanks for taking a few minutes out of your day to visit my space on the internet. Today, I’d like you to close your eyes and imagine this:
Imagine that you’ve just gotten a life-altering diagnosis from your doctor. You’ve been told that you have an incurable disease. You can manage your disease, enough to stay alive, but it’s still an inexact science and often, just when you think you have things well in hand, you face a life-threatening situation. Completely out of the blue. Even though you’re “doing everything right”. Like I said, an inexact science.
Imagine voluntarily poking your finger multiple times each day, just so you can have a benchmark from which to apply your inexact science. Imagine having to do it more often on the days when you feel your worst, like when you have the flu, or after you’ve had a terrible bout with hypoglycemia this morning.
Imagine you’re an insulin pumper. To be able to get the one thing that keeps you alive, you have to be willing to abuse your body every three days, injecting a thick needle with a spring loaded device. Once you remove the needle, a little plastic cannula is left behind. Having a foreign object in your midsection, your behind, your thigh, or your arm for 72 hours means you’ll eventually develop scar tissue that will make it even harder to abuse your body every three days.
Imagine you’re using a continuous glucose monitor, or CGM, to help keep abreast of how your blood sugar is trending throughout the day. Great tool… but there’s another injectable, this one every seven days.
Now, imagine you’re not an insulin pumper. Great. Now you have to inject your insulin using a syringe several times each day.
Imagine having to fight to get insurance to cover even part of this, including the very drug you need to stay alive. Oh, maybe you can get that drug, but it’s not the version of the drug that works best for you, because your insurance carrier has decided they can make more money by steering you to another version. The brand that’s covered doesn’t work as well for you? When you’re on the brand of insulin we cover, your glucose runs high all the time, potentially causing co-morbidities to become a reality? So what… we make more money with it, so you’ll use it. And pay us for the privelege.
Imagine a state legislature and a congress that allows this to happen.
Imagine being told, at the age of 65, when you’re eligible for Medicare, that you’ll have to give up your CGM because it’s not covered. Imagine a congress that allows this to happen.
Imagine living with the threat of all of the things that might happen to you as a result of living with diabetes 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, without a vacation, whether or not you were able to manage your diabetes well over the years.
The point here isn’t to guilt you, dear reader, into feeling sorry for all of us living with and affected by diabetes. Instead, the point is to show you how much we endure, and how strong we really are, even at our weakest.
People With Diabetes are your friends and neighbors. Family. Co-workers. Teachers and students. Infants, teenagers, adults, and seniors.
Imagine a world where one is not stigmatized by nature of the disease they live with, but rather recognized for their endurance despite the nature of the disease they live with.