What’s The Cost Of A Chronic Illness?

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.

The NHS – Pride Of Britain

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.

Supplies for life

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 🙂 

For now

Take care, costs are everywhere

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17 thoughts on “What’s The Cost Of A Chronic Illness?

  • Great post, you’ve really pointed out how expensive diabetes is regardless of where we live. I agree about those meet ups though – worth every penny!!

    • Thanks Karen, was dubious with this one!! Feel a sense of guilt moaning about small costs when so many struggle to get insulin though

  • I love how you included meeting with diabuddies in your list :). I’m hoping that’s something that I can add to my expenses because it definitely would be worth it!

  • Bec

    Wow thanks for the rundown of how it all works! Really interesting. I don’t think you should feel guilt for any complaints. Everything is relative. Just because your difficulty is less severe than another’s does not mean that you have less of a right to complain. It makes a difference to you, so it’s ok to acknowledge that

  • great list of extra expenses! Phew…living with diabetes just doesn’t come cheap anywhere!

  • Wow, it sounds scary when you add it all up!

  • Great information. It is costly no matter what country you live in!

  • I like that you include things like tape and glucose tablets. To me those essentials don’t often get considered when looking at the costs of diabetes but costs they are. I recently learned that Ketone testing strips are now no longer covered by my insurance. Another out of pocket essential added to the list.

    • Ketone strips not being covered by insurance is crazy! Without those your hospital admission is going to cost the insurance compnay much much more than a few pots of ketone strips 🙁

  • You included quite a few things on your cost list that I hadn’t thought of before! I wonder how much money I’ve spent on juiceboxes in my lifetime…. Great post.

    It is wonderful to have a system in place that covers the basics.

  • great summary of all the hidden costs!

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