Sunday, May 1, 2011

Frustrated Rant

I apologize for this depressing post ahead of time. But I'm feeling it a lot right now and need to get it out. I don't like to talk about the negative part of living with diabetes very often. Truth of the matter is, I avoid discussing some areas of living with diabetes like the plague. Because some of the negatives of living with diabetes make me feel like I'm in a cage with no way out.

From the time I was a small child I understood that diabetes cost a lot of money. When I was first diagnosed, meters ran in the hundreds of dollars (no free meters here!). I remember when losing a meter was a HUGE deal. And I did lose a few.

And although I had a fairly normal, stable upbringing, I thought about running away once. When I was about 8 or 9, I think. And I remember my thought process about it. I knew what I needed to take; toys, clothes, food...and insulin. I even got smart enough to realize if I waited until my mom got my prescription refilled that I'd have the most amount of insulin to take with me.

Then it occurred to me that I couldn't stay gone forever (isn't the the point of running away?) because once the insulin ran out, I'd have no way or no money to get any more. Diabetes foiled my plans. It also made me realize, even more than I already did, that the answer to me living a semi-healthy life was to having health insurance.

I was quite a bit older before I realized that getting health insurance was harder than it seemed. I couldn't just buy a policy on myself. I couldn't work for a company that made me pay for my own. I think I was in middle school or high school when I finally realized that I'd have to work for a big company in order to go in under a "group policy" to get my health insurance.

As a college student this wasn't really an issue for me. I knew that I was going to be a teacher. And working for a school system offered great insurance. No problems, right? Yeah. Sure. Turns out that even though I loved children and the act of teaching children, teaching in the public school system wasn't really for me. There is too much going on that doesn't have anything to do with teaching (I still gladly teach my Sunday school class and adore children).

So I ended up working for state government. Still great health insurance, even though it isn't exactly my dream job. But the longer I'm with my job, the more I want to be doing something else. I am thankful for my job. I'm not miserable (most of the time). But it's not my life's passion.

The problem that arises is that most of the things I want to do require either A) more schooling, or B) being self-employed. Both of those end up with me leaving my job and losing my health insurance. I'd love it if I had a "significant other" that could carry insurance on me while I went back to school. But I don't. Also, almost anything that I'd want to do requires self-employment. And as we have all learned after diabetes entered our lives, getting insurance when you are a diabetic is IMPOSSIBLE or way, way more money than anyone can afford (unless they're rich, which I'm not).

Basically, I feel like I'm running into a corner or a wall over and over again. Frustrating, yes. Depressing, yes. I can live with the normal ups and downs of diabetes every day. I can deal with the fact that I'm probably going to have to deal with this disease for the rest of my life. I've been doing these things for most of my life already. But the fact that diabetes, in some ways, seems to be keeping me from what I want to do with my life frustrates me beyond belief.

I don't want diabetes to have that much control over me. But diabetes doesn't seem to be happy with dictating when I eat and sleep. And when I'm feeling well and when I'm not. And sometimes even what clothes I wear (dresses, girls??). Diabetes seems to even want to dictate what I do for a living.


Rachel said...

As excited I am to start my own job in local government, I hate to think that I've had to give up on my own dreams of self-employment. This is not the life I imagined a year ago.

So while I don't know what it's like to have diabetes interfere like a T1 might, I do know what it's like to push away a dream because of needing health insurance. And it really bites.

CookinsForMe said...

I so understand this entry! I have a job in which I'm miserable many days. I would love to find another job but as a diabetic I need the insurance I have and it isn't to find jobs with decent insurance. It isn't even great insurance but it's better than none and keeps me in that cage you talk about. You aren't the only bird in there, Cara, and I hope that both of us can find ways out so we can fly! Or at least hop along a little. ;)

By the way, I'm almost 49 and plan to go back to college in the fall. Wish me luck. Love your blog!

April said...

With you on this! My problem I still haven't figured out my dream job would be!! that's sad isn't it!!

I know this doesn't help - but insurance can not deny you insurance for preexisting anymore - might have to have a waiting period.

April said...

I wish I knew what my dream job would be - still never figured it out! sad!

Also I don't think insurance can deny insurance for preexisting condition anymore - I know that might not help - but maybe give you hope.

P.S. if you ever get offered the high deductible - go for it - I love it - I have meet all my deductible for the year so everything else for the rest of the year is free.

Great blog!

Sara said...

I know I keep commenting on our twin-ness - but I could have written this exact same post. I am so frustrated but I feel so trapped because I don't have the "insurance" to be able to take the time to do what I think I want to do next.

Unknown said...


Health insurance has dictated some of the most major decisions for our life.

My husband is balancing working full time with school full time, because he wants a career insurance is the reason he can't stop so I can go back to work for the family while he finishes school.

I will pray for a way.

Jeremiah 29:11 (New International Version, ©2011)

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Valerie said...

YES. Totally understand...I would love to be a freelance writer. I don't worry about making money - I worry about having insurance! Sometimes I feel like it gets in the way of what I want to do...I'm sure I could pull it off somehow, someday, but it's not totally ideal and it would be much easier if we didn't have to worry about having insurance.

Hallie Addington said...

I sooooo get this. And it sucks. I wish there was an easy answer! Hang in there- you are not alone.

Ashley said...

I understand this post. My husband is losing his passion for his job and wants to quit and become a landscaper. I feel for him that he's unhappy in his job, but we are tied to it because of insurance. It makes me feel like a burden.

Cherise said...

I read your post yesterday but I had to come back today to let you know-I am praying for you. I understand needing and wanting a career change-I'm going to school this fall to get a degree:) I know you're a woman of faith-keep praying, stand still and He will lead the way.

Allison Blass said...

Never let anything get in the way of your dream. I wanted to write about diabetes for a living and now I am a professional diabetes blogger. There is always a way. But sometimes it just looks different than you imagined. You just have to do a bit of thinking outside the box and researching different avenues.

Arielle said...

If you go back to school, can't you get insurance through the university? I had the school's insurance all 3 years of grad school and it worked out fine.

Cara said...

Not all universities offer insurance. Some (like my former college) only offer free clinic care on campus. :/

Arielle said...

That's annoying! (And also weird--I am sure that when I went to college you were required to carry health insurance, either through the school's policy or your family's.)

Cara said...

I wonder if it's different requirements in different states?

George said...

I have been depressed about this very problem recently. I really want to do things that would require me to go it alone which I cannot.

I keep playing the lottery so there is that, and I have to believe that God will put the things in front of me to get me where he needs me to be.

It's just "in His time" which is frustrating too!

Sysy said...

SO frustrating. And feels So unfair. I always worked jobs I hated for health insurance. Only now that I'm staying home with the kids am I doing what I love-problem is it's hard to do what I love while living just above the poverty line and while taking care of two toddlers all day. It's like we can't win. Or at least it feels that way sometimes. Hang in there. Hope things turn up for you.

Cath said...

I feel like I´ve written your post. I know the feeling about insurance health. It´s so frustrating and feels so unfair. I had to stay at my last job for almost 6 yrs because of health insurance. As I see, Peru is not the only country where people with preexisting medical conditions are "trapped in the cage". I have been depressed about this problem after trying everything with insurance companies...and now I´m without health insurance. Love your blog!