By: Meagan Esler
As I listen to the news of the recent Mega Millions jackpot of over $600 million, my dreams aren’t about fast cars, vast mansions, or plush vacations. My thoughts revolve around my diabetes. How awesome would it be to have the best care that money can buy?
I’ve been that person, you know, the one who could not afford her supplies. The one who re-used her syringes to save money, cleaning them with alcohol between uses. The one who said no to hundreds of her test strips because her bank account couldn’t cover them. The one who skipped doctor appointments due to no insurance and staggering lab work costs. Regretfully, I’ve gone too long between A1Cs back when times were really tough.
Thankfully, things are better financially at this point in my life, but as far as diabetes goes, I’m always on the edge of my seat. What if I lost my job and my health insurance? I never want to be in that position again. That’s why my lottery fantasies turn immediately to what I’d do about my diabetes if I won.
First and foremost, I’d get myself an insulin pump. Sometimes I feel like the last type 1 on the planet who takes manual daily injections. Most of my friends have pumps, along with much better blood sugar control than I do. I tried years ago to get one, but after undergoing all the preparation and blood work, I was told that I needed to come up with several thousand dollars. My insurance covered some, but not all, of the costs. To my dismay, it was just not something we could afford.
A continuous glucose monitor, or CGM, would also be nice. Knowing my blood sugar trends and having some warning of the ups and downs we all face daily with diabetes would be comforting, as well as helpful in figuring out insulin doses. But I’ve heard many friends tell tales of arguing with insurance companies in their attempts, often futile, to get this expensive but valuable device approved.
I’d also find a really good endocrinologist who could help me do this diabetes thing right. My ideal endocrinologist wouldn’t rush me out the door after an appointment. If I had questions at 8:00 PM, I’d simply call the doctor and ask. Who needs a butler? I’d rather have an endo on staff.
It’s great fun to imagine life without financial woes. I know of several amazing diabetes charities that would top my list of causes. If I won, a certain “D” prom that the diabetes online community humorously buzzes about would surely take place. Of course, I know the chances of winning are akin to getting struck by lightning multiple times, but it sure is fun to dream. What would you do if you won?