Today was “Rx Pick Up” day, not my favorite thing to do. Ben was almost asleep in the back seat and there was only one car in line, so I went through the drive thru. I tell the lady my name and that I had two prescriptions to pick up and she goes to get them. Upon her returning her eyes are wide and she speaks into her cool, drive thru mic and says “Do you know how much this insulin costs?” and in my well-mannered voice with kind eyes I say “Yes. Thank you.” She proceeds to inform me about various insurances and prescription plans and I continue to be kind and well-mannered which leads to tears upon exiting the drive thru. Because, in all honesty, what I really wanted to say was “1) Can this pharmacy not keep employees for long because I am here every other month for the past 5 years and I get the same question each time I am there – do you know how much this insulin costs? and 2)Yes, lady. My parents paid a ton for insulin to keep me alive, the military paid a ton for insulin to keep me alive and now my husband has a good job with good health insurance so we can afford to pay $120 per bottle of insulin. Considering all the bottled insulin I have consumed during the past twenty years, I am a walking millionaire!” So, I am upset and frustrated which leads to my first blog in a very long time.
You go about this business of caring for yourself and this chronic illness you carry constantly doing your best. Always thinking two steps ahead as far as food, activity level, stress level and how much insulin you have going or need to have going to balance it. You go about counting carbs in your head and checking your pump site and tubing and battery and cartridge and making sure you have a clean lancet and enough strips for your time away from home. You go about the business of carrying enough snacks and supplies along with hope. Then, you meet someone in a drive thru who doesn’t choose their words carefully or their tone of voice and it sends you into the whirl of “Why?” and “What if?”
So, my head and my heart are now consumed with thoughts of the parents who carry the burdens of raising a child with Type One, those living with Type One who cannot afford the medications and supplies they need. And, I always go back to the idea of JDRF and the research they are doing and that if I can hang in there long enough so that I do not have to worry about my boys and Type One, I will cheerfully go through the pharmacy drive thru a few more times and deal with the cashier who didn’t quite make my day.