Diabetes Details 3: $$$
• SciFiChick is giving away a copy of The Mermaid’s Madness. Deadline to enter is 10/16.
• Sexual Assault Prevention Tips Guaranteed to Work. I absolutely love this piece.
So apparently this is the week to talk about invisible diseases/conditions. I don’t know how invisible my diabetes is … the insulin pump is kind of obvious, and I don’t try to hide when I’m checking my blood sugar. On the other hand, it’s not like my pancreas has fallen out in the middle of a convention panel or anything like that.
I’ve chatted about the disease a bit already here and here. With a doctor’s appointment set up for this afternoon, I got to thinking about the cost of the damn disease.
I’m very fortunate to have good health insurance, which means most of that cost is actually invisible to me. The insurance is one of the reasons I took my day job, and it’s the biggest reason I’ll likely never be able to quit and write full time. But recent events got me thinking about how much diabetes would cost if I were ever to get laid off or lose those benefits.
Blood sugar test strips (testing 6-7 times/day) : $200/month
Lancets for blood tests: $63/month
Insulin pump infusion set: $116/20-day supply
Insulin pump reservoirs: $33/20-day supply
Insulin (this one is a guess): $100/month
That’s $586.50 per month, and that’s before we get into doctor visits (every 3-4 months), bloodwork (also every 3-4 months), and occasional costs like replacing the insulin pump if it breaks ($1000?) or, if things go really badly, a trip to the hospital.
If I were covering the costs myself, there are changes I could make to save money. I could test my blood less frequently, switch from the pump back to multiple daily injections, not see my doctor quite as often, reuse lancets and syringes, and so on.
Of course, the more I skimp on the daily care, the more likely I am to end up in the hospital due to complications…
It’s not something I think about very often, but it scares me a bit, and I very much resent that it takes away my option to try to go full-time as a writer.