This post has very little to do with blood sugar readings or diabetes. If you’ve read the two posts prior to this then you know the past few days have been fraught with issues with blood sugar. If you haven’t, read here and here. I also have been stressed communicating with Angelina’s teacher, school nurse, and administrators. I’ve spent a good couple of hours in the past two days reading and writing and exchanging emails to make sure that her diabetes 504 plan is being followed for state testing.
Well, Angelina leaves for the bus around 8am every morning. As she was walking out the door to go to school I get a text from my husband, “They are laying off about 1/3 of the employees today.” Now, everyone is afraid of being laid off or losing their job. For us, this would be absolutely catastrophic. I am on social security disability and not able to hold a job. I have not had a job for over 5 years. On top of that David JUST bought a new car three weeks ago after driving the same car for 9 years. So, for the first time in about 5 years we just took on a monster of a car payment. He needed a new car and March marked a record end-of-quarter for his employer. There were talks of raises this year and congratulations all around. And, of course, aside from my disability we have a child with a chronic medical condition that even the most basic treatment for is very expensive.
Our health insurance is through my husband’s job. If he lost his job we would not only lose about 80% of our household income, we would also lose our health insurance, which means we would actually lose about 160% of our “income”. (You can do the math there) I posted about how much diabetes has cost (before insurance) in the past year since Angelina’s diagnosis (you can find that here). Simply put, we wouldn’t be able to afford her diabetes without insurance. Or we would have to default on the auto loan we just took out, which would be the more likely scenario. Even then, I’m not sure how we would do it. Fortunately, like many people with D that are fortunate to have good insurance, we have a stockpile of diabetes supplies. But even that would probably only last us a month to 6 weeks past the expected refill time. And that’s only because I just picked up her insulin from the pharmacy yesterday (All $880 of it, before insurance).
Four of my husband’s friends from work were let go. A lot more people than that were let go, but these 4 are people that we associate with socially and who have been to our home and/or we have been to theirs. It wasn’t until 9:30am that I finally got the text that said his job was safe. I am incredibly relieved for us, because job loss means so much more than just a loss of income. In very real terms, job loss for him could very quickly mean having to choose between need diabetes supplies and insulin for my daughter to stay alive or food and housing. Without our insurance, even if my husband got another job right away, there is a very real possibility of still being forced to make that choice. I can’t wait until the United States finally stops treating health coverage as a luxury item and starts providing it for everyone, regardless of income, and certainly not tied to a person’s employer.