I’m afraid to tell you the name of the Facebook group. Mainly because I’m pretty sure it isn’t legal to do his sort of thing. Passing off prescriptions in every case is illegal…at least I’m pretty sure. However, there I was, looking at the screen. Reading all the posts of desperation, the outcry for this kind of insulin, that kind of insulin pump attachment set, the horror stories of painful arguments with insurances and pharmacies that would end in moot meaningless apologies. The whole time wondering who added me to this Facebook group.
The group was of others who were diabetics from all across the country, asking others to share the excess diabetic supplies with people who were either struggling to get some because of switching insurances, having no insurance from loss of jobs, or being unable to afford even the “affordable” healthcare. My heart ached as people would post their plights. One woman was struggling to get her insurances to switch over and her son had been without insulin for nearly a month. She had syringes they could reuse, but they just couldn’t get the insulin. Even the Pharmacy was trying to help her fight for it, desperate on her behalf. She was pleading with anyone who would help her get her hands on some for her eight-year-old. Thankfully others came to her aid in the comments, but my heart just shattered into a thousand tiny pieces. It struck me. It struck me so hard. Like my heart had been in a bloody bar fight and came out the loser….barely alive. There were so many stories like hers.
At any moment I could be in their place.
As some of you who are my “veteran readers” (congrats you’ve been titled) know, I am a Type One Diabetic. I was diagnosed at age eight. Being diabetic has been hard on my prideful and at times, depressed soul. Okay, I’m whiny and I know it. Let’s call it like it is. But, diabetes is a very serious and expensive condition. In my time as a diabetic, I’ve been very fortunate to have wealthy family and friends who have been there to assist me generously when I was in a bind. I’ve had good insurance for a very long time and have been fortunate to never be in want of diabetic supplies. Though, when a person added me to this group (to be honest I didn’t know the person who started it, nor did I know the person who added me, so I haven’t the slightest how I came to be added to it at all) I became so much more aware of the plight of other diabetics in the world.
It humbled me. Considerably.
I was once an eight-year-old very aware of my mortality, and absolutely terrified to die young. I could only imagine what it felt like for that little boy, knowing he needed his meds to live, and knowing he was off of them for far too long. I could empathize with parents trying to make low carb meals (that were filling for a growing child) on a shoe string budget and walking on eggshells with food and diet to keep blood sugars from getting worse. I could imagine the feeling of those high blood sugars that boy would feel. The joint stiffness and aching, the difficulty processing information (especially in school). Trying to function like a child should, while working with what felt like half a mind, body, and chronic exhaustion caused by high blood sugars? The worst. Feeling dumb for not understanding the assignment. Feeling weak because muscle fatigue made your arms feel so much like noodles you could hardly hold a pencil. Feeling like your eyes should just close and sleep it all off, but being afraid you wouldn’t wake up if you did. Then there was the long term fear that ever doctor makes very clear when you’re first diagnosed: the fear of organ failure.
My words are so limited to explain all of it. You would have to have lived it to know it.
None of this probably resonates with you. Most of you will probably skip over this and never read it. Even if you do, you’ll go about your lives forgetting this exists. Why? Because even if you do read it, you’ll be just like I am now. Sittings on here, writing a blog post or voicing an experience to social media, without knowing what you can do. I’m with you there. It resonates with me because it hits close to home, but I know there is little I can do. I’m not wealthy, just a combination of lucky and blessed. I’m just out here trying to make my own life work. Even if I could throw money at the problem, what good would it do? There are so many out there that need it and aren’t going to be as lucky or blessed as I was.
So I mourn.
I mourn at how limited I am. I mourn at my own situation and the fear I feel. I mourn because I, and so many others, are so weak physically and financially and handouts can only go so far. I mourn because so many will die tonight because of a disease we talk so much about, and still know so little about. I mourn, because mourning does nothing to fix it. I am helpless, and I am no less that fearful eight-year-old all over again. I mourn, because I can relive the questions, the fear of not waking up in the morning, the feelings I feel both physically and emotionally when there was something wrong in my body and nothing I could do would stop it. I know that story. I lived it. I cannot unlive it, and I am helpless to save anyone else from it.
So I mourn, and I hope. For what? I’m not sure. Just something better that I don’t have words for.