Living With Diabetes

Doubting Believer is asking our readers to make your voices heard regarding affordable insulin for all who live with diabetes. Over the next few weeks, we will have guest posts from people who live with the disease about the importance of access to life-saving medication. Links to ways you can help are found at the end of this post.

What does the Lord require of you, but to seek justice, love kindness and walk humbly with your God?

Micah 6:8

I remember when I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes in 6th grade, but I don’t remember a time when I didn’t wake up and think “Ugh…I have to take my blood sugar…again.”  Every morning. 

I get out of bed at night when I realize I’ve forgotten to take my blood sugar before I can go to sleep.  I have to make sure I do everything right during the day, or I don’t feel well and can’t concentrate or function at my highest level. 

When you are a kid, diabetes takes over everything.  It changes everything. What I didn’t realize as a kid was how much it took over my mom’s life as well. My mom was not only concerned about my physical health, she was concerned about how diabetes affected our family’s financial health. We went from few medical bills to astronomical costs overnight.  We had good insurance, but it wasn’t enough, and I had no idea until I was an adult how expensive it was (is!) just to keep me alive. 

Diabetes continues to take over a great deal of your life when you are an adult, too. Except now I add to the list of concerns: what is this doing to my kidneys and liver and heart? How long will I live? etc, etc, etc. 

As an adult I still have really good insurance, but I know what it is like to go to the pharmacy and pay over $300 a month for insulin.  And, again, I have really good insurance. Imagine the cost for people who don’t have good insurance–or any insurance at all.

America is one of the richest nations in the country, and we have raised the cost of insulin to the highest level in the world.  If you don’t have insurance, and you are unable to work or to find a job, you cannot afford to stay alive.  Insulin is not optional for a diabetic.  Insulin is necessary to keep breathing from one day to the next.  Depending on your diagnosis, skipping insulin for even a few days can literally end your life.

We live in one of the richest countries in the world, and yet we are content to let people die.  Even if you can scrape together enough money to buy your insulin, can you afford everything else you need or will you have to reuse syringes?  Can you take your blood sugar to make sure you are taking the right dose of insulin?  Can you afford an insulin pump that self regulates and helps you function at the highest level with the best blood sugars possible?

I am lucky, and I often take that for granted.

People are dying, and that is part of our corporate sin because it does not have to happen.

Lord, have mercy.

Christ, have mercy.

Lord, have mercy.

Rev. Elizabeth Brinegar is the pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Jacksonville, Arkansas, and the Transitional Director of Operations for Solar Under the Sun.

Sign the petition to help protect pre-existing condition coverage at the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation.

Are you covered by United Healthcare? Let them know you are opposed to their policy to limit insulin pumps for children. Learn more here.

Sign up to become an advocate for the American Diabetes Association. Learn more.

Doubting Believer is an online, inclusive and progressive Christian community. Follow us on Facebook and get emails to keep up with all that is happening.

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