In this article, you will get all information regarding “I’m a diabetic nurse. The price of insulin is killing people – World Time Todays
I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when I was 13. In early 2006, I came down with a bad cold that lasted at least a month. Slowly, as the year progressed, more and more symptoms emerged.
I lost a lot of weight but always felt hungry and thirsty. I was a very active teenager; I played softball, danced, and was on the wrestling team, so I attributed the weight loss to all the exercises I was doing. But we have a strong family history of diabetes, and one day my parents realized something was wrong.
It was two days after Christmas and I ate an awful lot at dinner. I had maybe five or six servings and drank almost a gallon of water in an hour but still felt hungry and thirsty.
My father pulled me aside and checked my blood sugar with my older brother’s blood glucose meter. Any blood glucose reading above 600 was not registering on this particular meter, and it just read “High” for me. We drove to the emergency room and it turned out that my blood sugar was over 700, which is extremely dangerous.
I was hospitalized and diagnosed with diabetes. I spent two or three days there and was absolutely terrified. I was afraid of needles and it took me a while to get used to injecting insulin.
At first I refused, but then a nurse looked me in the eye and said, “If you don’t learn this, you will die.”
Learning to live with diabetes
Coming back to school after winter break was strange. Luckily I wasn’t the only diabetic – there were three of us in total so there was some support when it came to blood glucose monitoring and insulin dosing at lunchtime in the nurses’ station.
But there was a lot of fear from my classmates. One day during a health class, a kid pulled his chair away from me and said, “I’m not going to sit next to you.
I was very private at the time and wanted to keep my diagnosis to myself, but my teacher took it upon herself to stop what we were learning to educate the class about my illness.
Sometimes teachers would accuse me of faking my illness to see a nurse or try to take my insulin pumps away thinking they were cell phones. It was a big change for everyone.
I was in my parents’ health insurance at the time, but the insurance only covered the cost of insulin up to a certain point in time. I’m not sure what my insulin would have cost her. I was always using about two and a half bottles a month so it would have been expensive.
At the age of 18 I married my husband and was kicked out by my parents’ health insurance. My husband is in the military so luckily their health care system will cover the cost of my insulin if I get it at the military pharmacy. If I had to pay for it out of my own pocket, it would cost me $50 a bottle.
Whenever my husband renews his contracts, he always has to think about our health insurance coverage. Someone like me who has a chronic illness needs this insurance every month, whether it’s just for prescriptions, for doctor visits, or, heaven forbid, a hospital stay. My condition is always something we have to consider.
become a nurse
I’ve wanted to work in the medical field since third grade, but after being diagnosed with diabetes and managing myself as a patient in the healthcare system, I knew this was the job for me.
I realized that none of my doctors or nurses were diabetics and felt that the treatment I would receive would be so different if I had someone who understood what I was dealing with. So after graduating from high school, I decided to become a registered nurse.
Throughout my life I have had to deal with many different experiences because of my disease and I know that diabetes can be tough. I wanted to say to people, “Hey, I’ve been where you guys are. Let’s master this together.”
I have been a registered nurse for almost a decade, working in various settings, and I would estimate that more than half of my patients have had financial problems with their medical expenses, including the price of insulin, and have not been able to afford adequate care for their diabetes.
Working with diabetes patients
During my last practice as a nurse we had a returning patient who had difficulty understanding the disease. She was 18 years old when I first saw her, and although she was supported by her parents’ health insurance, she could not afford the further costs of her insulin.
This led to her rationing her insulin or just skipping it and trying to control her blood sugar by eating certain meals. But if a diabetic stops taking insulin for a long time, they get sick. She often ended up in the hospital suffering from many different infections and problems with her kidneys.
When I first started nursing, I worked in a nursing home that also housed patients recovering from hospitalization. A man who could not afford his insulin or other medication was routinely brought to our facility after multiple medical amputations caused by untreated diabetes-related problems.
Nobody should have to lose a limb because they can’t afford insulin.
become a diabetes nurse
I am currently studying to become diabetic education and in the future I hope to offer free courses to educate people about this disease because having diabetes is expensive.
This month it was announced that two major pharmaceutical companies will reduce the price of some of their insulin products. I think this will help? Yes. I think that’s the answer? NO.
A 2020 study found that the average price of a vial of insulin in the United States was over $98 in 2018. So is $35 better than that? Yes. In my mind, however, this is a decision that should have been made by Congress, not drug companies.
Insulin patent sold for $1. The drug’s discoverers wanted it to be affordable because they knew it would save lives. But here we are, 100 years later, and this liquid costs so much that some people are dying.
As diabetics we need insulin to survive and I don’t think there is any reason why anyone would have to experience side effects from their disease because they cannot afford the financial cost.
Trisha Guess is a registered nurse and mother of six children who lives in Germany with her husband. You can visit her website here or follow her on TikTok @the_diabetic_nurse.
All views expressed in this article are the author’s own.
As reported by Monica Greep, editor of Newsweek’s My Turn.
Do you have a unique experience or personal story to share? Email the My Turn team at email@example.com.
https://www.newsweek.com/insulin-diabetes-nurse-health-care-1788325 “I’m a diabetic nurse. The price of insulin is killing people
“I’m a diabetic nurse. The price of insulin is killing people – World Time Todays
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