Before I even get started on my rant, I want to reassure Aunt Nurse that I have filled out the appropriate paperwork and I am waiting for a response from Veterans AffairsShouldn’t “Veterans” be a possessive noun?  I don’t know.  I got it off their website.

There is some weird stigma about being a diabetic.  I’m not sure exactly what it is, but I see it all the time in strange places.  It almost appears to be a natural human reaction to people with diabetes that no one even realizes they are doing.  You know how I love examples.  For example, Mamma and I would go out to eat at a restaurant in Italy.  At the end of the meal, the server would always offer coffee.  Beth would always ask for sugar and sweetener because I have diabetes.  I don’t see it.  She would ask for sugar.  Got that.  Then, she would ask for sweetener because I have diabetes.  She wouldn’t just ask for sweetener.  It was more like, “May we have sweetener; my husband is diabetic.”  That’s not all.  I continue to see this sort of behavior in the media we receive about our health insurance or our HSA.  Last week I received a document about the health care reform and it’s impact on my HSA and it had the phrase, “… you can still use it to pay for prescription medicines, including insulin… “  Including insulin?  Why?  Are diabetics so stupid we won’t realize that our prescribed insulin would be included with other prescription medicines.

Then, look at what we have to go through for these prescriptions.  I haven’t made my deductible yet, so I am still paying for everything medical out of my HSA.  I went to buy my insulin the other day.  It cost me $257.  I cannot live without it, so basically, I have to pay $257 to live.  That’s just one insulin and I have to go back next month to get some more.  I take two different types of insulin.  Then I went to get more testing strips.  A months worth was $106.  The pen needles were $50.  Looks like Amazon has better prices than CVS.  Too bad you can’t use your HSA at  I can’t live without this stuff.  My choices are buy it or die?  That is an AWESOME marketing strategy!  I basically rent my body for over $600 a month.  I pay over $600 a month for a body with a broken pancreas.  Hey!  If I’m going to pay $600 a month, I would at least like a body that functions properly.  He knows I can hear him.  When you rent an apartment, you wouldn’t pay extra for the one that doesn’t have air conditioning.  We get it already!  You wouldn’t pay extra for the one with the beautiful view of a landfill.  He just compared me to a landfill?  You wouldn’t pay extra for the one in a bad neighborhood or near bad schools.

Let’s move on, shall we? If I say no, will you stop?  My prescription for testing strips from the pharmacy has directions.  Insert blood here.  They say, “Test up to 6 times daily.”  Who decided that 6 was the magic number.  That allows me to test before and after each meal.  It doesn’t give me a strip for testing before bed.  It doesn’t give me a strip for testing when I feel low or high.  It doesn’t give me a strip to test if I have compensated appropriately to fix my abnormal blood sugar.  So we don’t like six?  Six was decided by the insurance company.  That is the most they will allow me per day.  Any more than that and I have to pay for them at full price.  My pen needles say, “Inject up to 4 injections daily.”  Four is one per meal and one before bed.  Thankfully, my blood sugar is never high.  You mean to say, “Sadly my blood sugar is never normal.”

When we lived in Italy, I paid 1 Euro for 25 strips.  In other words, I paid 4 Euros for the same number of strips that I pay $106 here.  I paid 1 Euro for my insulin.  There is a lot to be said about socialized medicine.  I am not saying that socialized medicine is the right way to go.  I truly don’t have enough information to say one way or the other.  Like most things, I am sure it probably has advantages for some and disadvantages for others.  What I do know, is that being a diabetic isn’t cheap, and the companies I depend on to provide the things I need to survive, are pretty stingy when it comes to giving me them.  That is the downside of capitalized health care.  I’m not certain capitalized health care means what you think it means.  Either way, whatever Obama’s plan is, I hope it is going to make the prices on survival for diabetics a little easier to swallow.  You mean inject.