Insulin Prices: When You Can’t Afford to Stay Alive


A few days ago in Facebook, I posted a link to an article about the rising costs of EpiPens. A T1 friend of mine commented that link that she is pretty much “done” because of the price of insulin. Yesterday, several people posted an article about the rising costs of insulin. My friend shared that link and stated that she can’t afford to stay alive. I told her to promise me that she would go to the hospital when she runs out of insulin.

She sent me a PM that I am sharing here:

Kelly, my life is basically over. I’m coming up on my first bday with out my mom. I have no family. No friends here. I work a job helping others and get shit on for it. I’m not saying I am suicidal, I’m saying I am exhausted, tired, burnt out. I get no help. I never thought that I would be in this position with my insulin. I was the earliest person who went on a insulin pump. I was also the earliest to be put on Humalog when it came out. Nobody in the doc cares. You have a blog, so you have a voice. I’ve talked with people on line about shaking the doc and insulin companies awake and nobody wants to do so, they told me that they are more at ease with begin complacent and apathetic. How sad.

My friend has a job with insurance. However, she has a very high deductible and has to pay 100% of the cost until she meets the deductible. She is out of money and her doctor doesn’t have any samples to give her. I know samples seem to be drying up – my doctor isn’t getting them anymore either. Because she is working, she makes too much money to qualify for any of the prescription assistance programs. She was an only child and both of her parents have died. She has no family to help her.

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Diabetes Life Hacks

Todays topic is:

Click for the Diabetes Life Hacks – Friday 5/16 Link List. Share the (non-medical) tips and tricks that help you in the day-to-day management of diabetes. Tell us everything from clothing modifications, serving size/carb counting tricks to the tried and true Dexcom-in-a-glass trick or the “secret” to turning on a Medtronic pump’s backlight when not on the home-screen (scroll to the bottom of this post). Please remember to give non-medical advice only! (Thank you Rachel of Probably Rachel and Kelley of Below Seven for this topic suggestion.)

At first, I couldn’t think of any non-medical tips.  Then I was sitting at my desk and realized that I do have a couple.  Just had to open my eyes and look!

I have seen a bunch of people on MDI say that they can’t figure stuff out because they don’t have a pump.  You don’t need a pump to figure things out – all you need is a little calculator.  I have a couple of these little pocket calculators.  They are cheap – last time I got one, it was $4.  I put it next to a ruler so you can see it is only 4 inches long and thin.  Easily fits in a purse.  It makes it easy to figure out carbs and insulin when you are out and about.  No need to be a math genius when you have a calculator on you!

 Pocket Calculator

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My Most Memorable Diabetes Day

Diabetes Blog Week 2013Today’s topic for the 4th Annual Diabetes Blog Week is:

Today we’re going to share our most memorable diabetes day. You can take this anywhere…. your or your loved one’s diagnosis, a bad low, a bad high, a big success, any day that you’d like to share.

 My first thought was to write about the time that I woke up to EMTs over me then decided not to. Instead, I decided to write about the day that I started insulin back in 1984. I have had some really bad experiences with doctors this last year and that day back in 1984 is a very good reminder that there really are good doctors out there.

At the time, I worked in DC and went to see a doctor within walking distance from my office. He was an internist but one of his partners was actually an endo so I got lucky when referred to his office by a co-worker. He suggested putting me in the hospital but I really didn’t want to do that. I guess I hated hospitals even back then!

I went to his office to be started on insulin. I was very upset that morning. The nurse was supposed to give me my first shot of insulin and although she managed to get me calmed down, my being in tears made her upset. By the time she got me calmed down, she didn’t want to give me the shot without my talking to the doctor. Unfortunately, the doctor had an emergency at the hospital that morning and was not in the office. She put me back out in the waiting room until he got back from the hospital.

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A Human Pump – Bad Box of Levemir AGAIN

Last January, I had some bad Levemir.  With that bad box, Novo Nordisk first had my pharmacy give me another box and that was also bad.  The box they shipped me was good.

Levemir Pen

Since then I have been saving the last pen in the box to use after I use the first pen out of a new box.  I forgot to order my pens before I had to use that last pen so no extra pen.  Of course, that had to be the box that was bad!  I opened the new box Sunday morning and my blood sugar started going up and corrections weren’t working.

To make sure it was the Levemir, I took Apidra every 2 hours to equal my Levemir dosage.  My blood sugar went back to normal.  Monday morning, I tried the Levemir again and my blood sugar went up again.

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My Wish For World Diabetes Day: Education

World Diabetes Day

World Diabetes Day Blue CircleI am participating in Wego Health’s National Health Blog Post Month. I decided to not follow the prompts today since it is World Diabetes Day.  May the Blue be with your today!

We have had some different talks about diabetes where I live – I have given two of them. Last night, they had a Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE) come in to talk. For you non-d people, a CDE is generally the one who trains diabetics how to manage their blood sugar.

Although the majority of what was presented was very good and up to date, there were a couple things that were lacking. She was discussing Type 2 drugs and brought up Victoza and Symlin. One of the things that she said was people have to still be producing insulin to be able to use either one of those drugs. She also stated that “this year” they decided that Symlin could be used with insulin. I spoke up because I have heard of a bunch of Type 1s using both Symlin and Victoza.

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10 Things I Couldn’t Live Without

Today’s prompt for Day 13 of the Wego Health Activist Writer’s Challenge is, “10 Things I Couldn’t Live Without. Write a list of the 10 things you need (or love) most.”

Apidra pens and vials1.  Leading the top of that list would be insulin.  I wouldn’t be able to survive if I didn’t have my insulin!




Aviva Boxes2.  After insulin, I also need my test strips.  It is hard to adjust your insulin or treat lows if you have no idea what your blood sugar is.




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