What is the TRUE cost of diabetes?

John Crowley
By John Crowley Latest Reply 2017-08-30 09:32:50 -0500
Started 2017-02-06 15:39:32 -0600

I've been thinking about this lately. Obviously, there are some expensive things about diabetes. There's the cost of testing supplies, medications, needles, insulin, etc., etc.

But then there are other not so obvious costs. Things like time wasted arguing with my insurance company about a co-pay. Things like waiting in line at the pharmacy. Things like worry and loss of sleep.

What would you include in your list of the TRUE cost of diabetes? What takes away from the things you'd like to be doing?

25 replies

Anonymous 2017-03-16 13:23:06 -0500 Report

Though I am a little late on this post I feel I need to reply. I am still fairly young (I feel) to have type 2 but I have had for almost 7 years these past 2 years medications and injections were added to the regimen increasing the financial burden exponentially. I am a single mom with 3 young kids and I am now being pushed to try and decide if I feed my children and pay my rent or buy my medications. I do not qualify for any type of assistance. Needless to say I have stopped the most beneficial meds which ironically were the most costly ones… I also don't check my blood sugar as prescribed due to the cost. When I calculated my out of pocket costs it was up to over 800 per month. I can't do it.!!! so my blood sugars are not where they should be. No one seems to care- Even my doctor. Very depressing :(

BAZININJA 2017-02-13 23:37:22 -0600 Report

It is a big time suck, isn't it? Among other things, I now have to get up 45 minutes earlier to get ready to go to church so I make sure I have time to manage my diabetes (checking my FBG, making and eating a breakfast with the right balance of protein and carbs, and getting my walk done all before I get into the shower). Most days I miss out on 15 minutes of whatever movie my family watches after supper (sometimes I get them to pause it if it's something I really want to watch :) ). The extra money spent on supplements, supplies, and diabetic-friendly food choices. The disappointment at only getting to eat a fraction of what's available on any given buffet (gotta love all you can eat prime rib, though! :) ). Steak 'N' Shake without the Shake. And real soda pop. I REALLY miss sugared soda pop.

Chopstix 2017-02-12 19:43:04 -0600 Report

1. Forcing myself to not slap a non-diabetic every time one wants to tell me what I can not eat or what I should be eating.

2. The time we spend researching our condition/disease so we can better care for ourselves or our loved ones.

Anonymous 2017-02-12 16:32:29 -0600 Report

The cost. Because of having diabetes, my husband can't retire. We don't qualify for assistance yet we have had to cut back on many other things. Before I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes, we were looking forward to retirement, able to take vacations, now that's gone away. My husband keeps talking about the expense of insulin and everything else & says I shouldn't feel guilty. But I feel like a huge burden.

suecsdy 2017-02-11 15:54:05 -0600 Report

I think diabetes has cost me a little piece of myself. I thought I was healthy. I didn't get sick. I rarely had a cold. Even the gall bladder issue was controlled. Now I have diabetes, and everything is viewed "within the context of the diabetes". Yes, I'm still physically healthy because the diabetes is controlled, but everthing is changed.

Vhm 2017-02-08 18:44:11 -0600 Report

One "loss" you mentioned. The lost time spent hassling, dealing with, waiting in pharmacy lines, etc. It's like when you lose your wallet. You can certainly cancel your credit cards, notify your bank, etc. But it all takes time. A new driver license. A new store discount card. Blah blah blah. The cost to me is the time.

Another cost more personal. My sis is T2. I am T1. We've had disagreements. We aren't as close anymore. That is big cost, I would say.

robertoj 2017-02-07 17:30:49 -0600 Report

The big one. I lost my grandmother to diabetes when I was just four. That changed my life forever. I became dark and began to display anti-social behavior.
Today the biggest cost would be leaving my loved ones behind.

WASHED OUT 2017-02-07 15:12:54 -0600 Report

Diabetes and the complications has cost me, the ability to live normal. Let's see, heart, neuropathy in feet and legs, stomach and bowels, artery problems due the damage in the outer layer of the veins, plaque that sticks to the inner layer of the veins, kidney and liver disease.

Kittiebitty 2017-02-07 11:33:06 -0600 Report

I feel I lost part of my traditions where is comes to food. My family is Italian-Sicilian and a lot of food is too carb filled. I can't always make food like my grandparents and parents do. Everything is modified. I lost my freedom to eat freely but yet I feel I've gained too. I have a much better perspective on the body and food I wouldn't have otherwise, even though it's due to necessity. The biggest cost is the fact that having a child will be harder and a challenge compared to other women- that makes me lose sleep and cry. My body changed so much too. Allergies and such. I lost my health. But shoot- I'm not dead!

John Crowley
John Crowley 2017-02-07 12:25:58 -0600 Report

That's a good one. Very tough to give up family traditions. Congratulations on maintaining a great attitude through it all.

Pegsy 2017-02-06 19:19:52 -0600 Report

For me the biggest cost is freedom. Gone is the freedom to eat whatever I want whenever I want, without concern. Now it all has to be carefully chosen and counted and timed. I deal with it OK but there are times I wish I didn't have to.

GabbyPA 2017-02-06 17:46:26 -0600 Report

For me the true cost comes in logging my foods, counting my carbs, taking notes and trying to figure out why things happen the way they do. My dining room table is never clear of log books, pill caddies and my test kit.The cost of organics versus processed foods I would hope would be my life cost even without diabetes, but I rather doubt it. The other cost is also finding a doctor that "gets" me. Taking time to look into alternative treatments because what is considered our health care system fails me completely.

John Crowley
John Crowley 2017-02-07 09:13:35 -0600 Report

Ha, I hadn't even thought of the hidden cost of space. All the space that all this diabetes stuff takes up in our homes, our cupboards, our tables, our cars, our purses and bags.

GabbyPA 2017-02-07 15:52:30 -0600 Report

LOL, yes, I needed to get a new purse because I have to make sure I can carry all my stuff in there now. It's always a challenge.

suecsdy 2017-02-11 15:46:48 -0600 Report

I always used to carry a small/medium sized bag. Now I have more stuff that has to go with me, so I really have to pay attention to make sure it all fits.

sweetslover 2017-02-06 16:18:34 -0600 Report

I would add the cost, both personal and monetary, of diabetic related conditions such as diabetic macular edema, peripheral neuropathy, and kidney disease. I have all of them—not fun.

granniesophie 2017-02-06 16:09:16 -0600 Report

I guess I'm lucky (she said sarcastically!) it costs me nothing but time and aggravation to get all my supplies. I get them all at the military pharmacy where I am seen. I go every 3 months or so, spend maybe 5 minutes with the doctor (6 in the last 5 years), get my prescription refills and get told I no longer need to stick myself because my A1c is "so good". This doctor is all I see, no specialists, and no one else. So, it costs me nothing. However, since I don't have faith in this at all, I am also seeing a naturopathic doctor, who see me as a whole person and not a diabetic, and has found many, many other things wrong that the military did not address. This is all out of pocket, and so that is my cost. I've said before, diabetes is the least of my issues, and is actually under decent control!

Type1Lou 2017-02-06 15:50:20 -0600 Report

Probably the biggest item on my list would be the time spent and aggravation incurred in dealing with insurers, and more specifically, with Medicare. All I'm trying to do is obtain the coverage for the items I need to stay as healthy as I can and prevent the development of costly diabetes complications.