This post started out as a post about the disgusting Mylan epi-pen price increase and now it mirrors the insulin prices increases, but then 9t turned into an article about Slate.com’s diabetes headline from yesterday.
I’m still working on the epi-pen article - and neither post is an Insulin verses Epi-pen article. Nope - both diseases are life threatening, both medications save lives and both price increases are appalling.
WE ARE IN THIS TOGETHER.
Today’s post is about words - specifically the word “EVEN.”
And how even little words can negate a price increase and add to diabetes stigma.
Yesterday, Slate.com ran an article with the headline: Good Lord, Even The Price of Insulin Is Skyrocketing.
The price of insulin has been skyrocketing for years -I now pay more for insulin than I did back in 1997 and more than my parents did when I was diagnosed way back in 1977.
Insulin is also a life saving drug, but nobody except those living with diabetes seems to care about the continual price increases.
Check out HERE, HERE, and HERE for a small sample of DOC voices on the subject.
Recently, the DOC has rallied behind #diabetesaccessmatters, because indeed it does.
No, I don’t believe you would, so why is OK to use that word and in that context when describing the price increase of drugs for a group of diseases (type 1 diabetes, type 1.5, type 2 diabetes,) that millions and millions of people live with?
- By using the word “even,” you’re subconsciously adding to diabetes shaming and adding to the stigma associated with diabetes.
It’s not OK.
Diabetes is not a character flaw - diabetes is hard fucking work and I haven’t had a vacation from my t1 diabetes in well over 3 decades.
I’ve lived with diabetes longer than I haven't and diabetes accompanied me from third grade until I graduated from college and every day since.
Diabetes was with me as I watched my favorite sister get married, went with me on my first date, stumble along side me through my first sexual experience and every one since.
Diabetes has been my traveling companion to a dozen countries and at least 15 states.
Type 1 Diabetes took the life of my older sister Debbie and broke my parents heart in the process.
Diabetes has made me feel guilty and diabetes has me saying I'm sorry, even when I am anything but.
Diabetes been the longest relationship I’ve ever had - braking up with diabetes is not an option at this time because there is no cure for my type 1 diabetes.
I know people with diabetes (type 1, t1.5, and type 2,) who can’t afford the cost of their insulin, or other medications, test strips, and diabetes durable medical equipment (insulin pumps, CGMs,) and play Russian roulette with their health every month because they’ve either run out of their meds/supplies before their prescriptions are due to be filled.
Or worse, they don’t have insurance and go without out because they’ve run out of money.
Unfortunately, diabetes is not the same disease every day - some days you require more insulin, some days you require less. Sometimes you need to check your blood sugars 10 times a day, other times 7 will suffice.
But if you live with diabetes, you're lucky if your insurance will pay for 5 test strips a day. And if you have diabetes and are on medicare - you only get 3 test strips covered per day.
Did I mention that test strips are the litmus tests that people with diabetes use (as well as CGMS - but that a whole other insurance ball of wax for another post,) use to monitor their blood sugars and measure out their insulin.
Insulin can kill if you admisister too much or too little - so YES, checking blood sugar is CRUCIAL AND EXPENSIVE.
Speaking of insurance - people with diabetes (PEOPLE WITH ANY ILLNESS,) spend more time arguing with their insurance company over denials, mistakes, and fighting for lifesaving medications and procedures.
But trust me when I tell you that nobody, no matter the diabetes type, deserves to be treated any less than with respect because of their diabetes status.
Your words, even small ones have power, so please use them wisely.
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Slate.Com : With Diabetes, "Even" Little Words Matter - Diabetes Stories