Clopper Lake and the Economics of Diabetes

A quick trip over to the lake, biking up the hill from the gate entrance without getting off the bike, then down and a little ways along the mountain bike path over to the road before we were busted by the park police for being there after hours, and I had to turn around and go back.  I guess it was a couple of miles round trip.  I thought we would be able to finish the lake.

clopper_lake

Update about 1 month later: I take it back.  Clopper Lake is a lot bigger than it looks (3 and a half miles).  I walked the whole thing today in somewhat sleety weather with the dogs.  About one third of the way around, my insulin peaked and my blood sugar dropped (it had started out at almost 500 in the morning).  I pulled out my 3 granola bars, and still wasn’t sure I’d make it.  I contemplated using my last $2 of phone minutes to call 9-11 and ask a ranger to come out and meet me while the operator “held my hand”, but the sugar thankfully slowly stabilized, and we finished the hike.  It’s been 40 years of this – living on the line.  I’ve always managed to just barely make it when I had to.

Another trip over to the pharmacy to pick up some more insulin ($25) (this will last about 1 month) and glucose strips (50 for $20).  This will last about 2-3 weeks.  I also picked up an A1c kit for $10, but it takes a week to get the results back.  There is a newer version that you can actually do in the doctor’s office.  I haven’t done the test yet.  I still couldn’t get Lantus without a script, and spent quite a bit of time yesterday down at the hospital picking up my stress test results, walking up 7 flights of stairs to schedule an appointment with a cardiology fellow in a month, and another 7 flights to go from the basement of one building to another.  Another flight to medical records. And still trying to get an appointment to get a script for Lantus.  It’s hopeless.  I need some new syringes.  I reuse them because of both cost and medical waste, but they run about $3 for a pack of 10.  I should probably switch to pen/needle combos because they produce less waste, and would probably be more accurate with the dial.  The syringes I use get hard to read after a while.

I went in fasting to get a lipid profile, because with the risk of a clot, we need to know if that risk needs to be medically lowered.  I get 2 prescriptions before things start to get really complicated.  The blood pressure meds use up one of them.  The lipid profile cost an arm and a leg – $49, but they did it as a walk-in, taking cash, and letting me pick the results up in person.  I won’t have the results for 4-5 days.

All in all it’s about 1/2 the holiday money I got.  I didn’t get a monthly allowance this month.

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