Diabetes Blog Week Day 2 – The Cost Of A Chronic Illness
UK Life With Diabetes
Now living in the UK, today’s topic is a tricky one for me. Compared to the guys in the States, I don’t have any essential costs really. It angers me that any PWD anywhere should face restrictions or issues where diabetes is concerned.
But in the spirit of diabetes blog week :-
Living with Type 1 diabetes takes it’s toll on so many levels. There is the mental burden, the physical burden and to some degree a financial burden too. If you are lucky enough to be resident in the UK then the financial burden is largely covered by our wonderful NHS system.
I am eternally grateful that we have the NHS. I see so often on Twitter the real struggles people with diabetes in the US face. I can only imagine having to make the choice of having my insulin this month or feeding my family. A truly shocking choice for anybody to need to make, and one I feel no Government should force onto it’s people.
UK System – What’s Included?
Here in the UK we are so lucky that everything we need to not die is supplied to us through the NHS. Although we do pay taxes here to fund the NHS. In the case of Type 1 diabetes at least, it represents great value in my opinion.
Just look at what is included within those taxes. Insulin, test strips, lancets, needles, ketone strips, insulin pump, reservoirs, cannulas, DSN appointments, Endo appointments, GP appointments, retinal screening.
Those are the ones I can think of off the top of my head. If I had to pay for these in the same way the folks do in the US, well I couldn’t!
Optional Extras Or Diabetic Essentials?
On top of all this though there are some financial burdens of living with a long term health condition like Type 1 diabetes. I know that lots of things on this list are optional, but costs are costs so lets have a look.
(These costs are approximate and I am fully aware not essential in most cases)
- Hypo Treatments – 1 pack dextrose per week – £0.75 a pack – Yearly cost £39
- SPI Belt – £18.50 each, needs replacing each year – Yearly cost £18.50
- Pump Insurance – £7.36 a month – Yearly cost £88.32
- CGM – Transmitter £250 every 3 months, sensors £50 each week – Yearly cost – £3,600
- Cavilon Spray – 1 bottle £10 lasts a few months – Yearly cost £40
- Rocktape to hold CGM on – £14 a roll lasts a couple months – Yearly cost £84
- Diawipes – 2 packs of 25 a week £1.50 a pack – Yearly cost £156
- Appointments Time – 4 appointments per year, each one needing a day off from work, due to location, unpaid -Yearly cost £320
- Meeting with Diabuddies – 6 times a year average £50 costs for the day – Yearly cost £300 – worth every penny and a whole lot more
Total yearly costs there comes in at £4,645.82 per year. Now let’s be optimistic and say I have got another 40 years on this big blue marble, £185,832.80p. That’s more than my mortgage!
Makes you think doesn’t it!
It’s All Worth It Though
Hope that gives a little insight into the extras that living with a life long condition entails. I know that most of the list above is not an essential. The money spent meeting up with other people with diabetes is essential in my book. Nowhere will you find the support that people with diabetes can offer, these guys just ”get it”.
All in all, just smile, be happy and live your life. If you don’t spend what you have, you can’t take it with you 🙂
Take care, costs are everywhere