As I was walking in this gloomy weather, I couldn’t help but think about the issues I have to go through because I am a person with diabetes. I mean, among those with diabetes, I feel like we talk about it all the time.
Checking blood sugar.
Faulty hardware for pumps.
Blood sugars too high.
Blood sugars too low.
Frustration, anger, sadness, impatience.
Happiness for balance.
But then you realize that there’s more. That every move you make and every physical illness or issue that you may come across gets blamed on diabetes. It’s not like people ask you, “How does that affect your diabetes?” Most of the time, they ask, “Is that because of your diabetes?”
The “outsiders” are not the only ones who think about it. We do, too. I do, all the time. Pain, numbness, headaches, skin discoloration: the first question I ask myself is, “Am I not taking care of myself well enough?” It’s a scary feeling. Especially for me, right now, it’s hard to try and feel as though I’m not falling apart.
Remember Alanis Morissette’s song “Ironic?” Yeah. That’s me. I had great insurance coverage and took it all for granted that I could see whatever doctor, whenever I needed to and get supplies every three months. As soon as I remember that I don’t have insurance, I feel like everything hurts, my eyesight is going, my head’s going to fall off and I won’t be able to remember my own name tomorrow.
People like me, we need insurance. We need it to pay for supplies, hardware, strips, trips to the doctor, tests, everything really. However, I currently don’t have health insurance. Due to this little pre-existing condition that has ruled my life, I have been rejected and will be rejected by any major medical insurance carrier. Trust me, I’ve applied. If you know of any major medical plan that judges you by “Do You Have Any Current Health Issues?” let me know.
Then you have all these other insurance companies that say they will cover you because you become part of a pool of people who also have preexisting conditions. Nope. It’s not major medical and it’s a rip-off. Coverage at the pharmacy, what I need the most for test strips and insulin, was non-existent. I was being charged incredible amounts of money for a three-month supply of anything. They didn’t cover anything. It was quite ridiculous and a waste of money.
When it came to hardware for my pump, I had to pay out-of-pocket and was charged $138 for one month. Before, I didn’t have to pay for it. Oh, you lucky people with a pancreas that works!
I don’t know if it makes me feel any better, but I usually explain why I don’t have health insurance. I tell them I’ve started my own business, that I’m an entrepreneur and that I am trying to make it happen for myself and for those who are involved. It’s hard. When I didn’t have insurance a few years ago, my doctor kept telling me to work at Starbucks. Guess what. I applied and never got a call.
Look, I don’t want to work in a cubicle for someone who calls me “Christine” and underestimates my abilities. I’m not a corporate ladder climber. I want to do things for myself and run the quick game that I play. I never wanted to be limited by this disease– this disorder– and it’s not fair that I am.
I keep asking for a miracle of some sort. The only hope at this point is for 2014 to get here and for people to tell me that having diabetes is not going to hinder my ability to get a major medical plan. I really don’t understand why some people don’t understand my ambition. It’s not more important than my health, but at the same time, it’s at the same level.
With or without health insurance I’m vigilant over my blood sugar, my health and the way I feel. The downside, of course, is the fact that I have to pay for everything out-of-pocket. As much as it sucks and as much as I owe doctors money right now, I have no choice. I’m hoping that regardless of what I decide to do, I will be taken care of and someone is looking over me.
For now, I raise my cafecito cup to all of us that have health battles to endure yet keep going, fighting and following our dreams and desires. You’re not alone and neither am I. Cheers to you for doing what you want and not being limited by this blasted body you’ve been given.