I was diagnosed almost eleven years ago, and have been through lots of (figurative) highs and lows with this disease. Financially, it’s always been a struggle. My husband and I recently moved across the country for his work; now that we are here our insurance has changed and I’m still trying to iron out all of the kinks that come with that. The new insurance won’t cover Novolog or Lantus (which I’ve been using for years), so I’ve been transitioning to a Levemir pen. It’s supposed to be “interchangeable” but I have woken up in the high 400’s every day since starting the Levemir. My bedtime levels are usually not much higher than 80. I also haven’t been able to get a half-unit dosing pen of fast acting insulin, so that has been a challenge when it comes time to correct for my high fasting sugars.
In short, I’m feeling very frustrated. I’ve never been able to try an insulin pump due to insurance and financial limitations. What I’m doing obviously isn’t working, in addition to the high blood sugars I eventually bottom out sometime in the afternoon or evening. I’ve been dealing with pretty significant hypoglycemia unawareness for the last few years so that’s especially inconvenient (I’ll often get down to the twenties or thirties without realizing that I need to test). I briefly had a CGM but can’t use it with the new insurance unless I pay out of pocket.
I’ve just started a new job this week as well. That’s always a challenge, trying to navigate the waters of educating coworkers without causing conflict is difficult. I need the people around me to understand that it’s a legitimate health concern, not a ploy for attention or extra breaks. I also get nervous about revealing too much to my employer, as I don’t want to seem like a liability or an unreliable employee. Too many times in the past I have had coworkers and/or employers assume that I just don’t take care of myself. Two nights ago I got up to use the restroom and was so out of it that I walked straight into my bedroom doorframe and skinned my forehead. I tested, took corrective for the 473 reading, and went back to bed in tears. How do you explain to someone why you have a gash across the top of your face? At my age (26) it would seem like I had been drunk or otherwise irresponsible- not sick.
The last concern I’ll mention here is for my family. I have a one year old daughter, and every day that I wake up high I also wake up emotional. It kills me to be short-tempered with her or be interacting poorly because I’m not able to get a handle on my glucose levels. My husband has also been dealing with my emotional upheaval, we’ve only been married for two years so we’re still learning how to communicate effectively. I feel like when my blood sugars are consistently bad, he’s less concerned than he would otherwise be. After hearing that I’ve woken up above 400 for enough days in a row, I think it just starts to sound normal to him. He’ll chuckle and say things like, “oh, you’ve set a new personal record!” I sometimes use humor to cope with it myself, so this shouldn’t upset me the way that it does. He also gets upset with me when he feels like I’m being sarcastic or sour while discussing my blood sugars, which I tend to do at times like this when I feel like I’m at the end of my rope.
Any advice? I know that this is nothing compared to the struggles others go through, and I always feel guilty when I realize that I’ve spent too long in self-pity mode. It’s not helpful to sit around and lament the struggles of dealing with a chronic disease, but for the life of me the adjustments I’m making to my diabetes care routine don’t seem to be helping either. Normally I would use exercise as my emotional outlet, but due to childcare restraints now that I’ve started this job that hasn’t been an option.
If anybody has some helpful hints about how to convince insurance companies to pay for a CGM and pump, that would be GREATLY appreciated as well.