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francis88

Costs of meds

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francis88

Im newly diagnosed. Im overwhelmed. Never had to deal with any health concerns before. Now I'm facing years of doctors visits, medications etc and the cost of it is scary. Who has suggestions? I would love to hear them!

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samuraiguy

For me it was losing weight, exercising more and eating lower carbs which reduced my need for meds--I take none now except for GERDS. The better your A1C is the less you will probably need it done so twice a year may be sufficient, i.e. because my A1C is always under 6 and my lipid panel is excellent my current clinic has me come in only every 6 months.

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notme

I know how you must feel right now, Francis. It is all a bit overwhelming.

 

The best way to take on diabetes when you are feeling overwhelmed is little bites. I have had type 1 for 30 years and I am suffering a bit of diabetes burnout. When I got my last A1c I knew I was in trouble. My doctor suggested small steps to get my mojo back. So....commit. Commit to small steps. For me it is using a bolus wizard on my pump. For you it might be lowering your carb intake. Then commit to daily fast walking or bike riding. Bike riding lowers my blood sugar dramatically.

 

Baby steps. The cost of meds can be offset by exercising and keeping those numbers down.

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sillygirl

I found the costs a bit daunting too, and i still do. On a positive note many diabetes meds are very cheap if not free.Metformin is free here, and in other places meformin er is. As several people have mentioned many times with proper diet and exercise you might not need meds. If you can get your diabetes well controlled you might only be seeing your doctor 1x every 6months or so for a check up. 

 

Testing strips can be the priciest part of being diabetic. If you have insurance see how many you can get your doctor to prescribe per day/month. Many people here use 9 strips or more a day.  If you arent insured there are many places to find cheap strips. Walmarts relion is pretty cheap. I've been using CVS brand since i can get them even cheaper than walmart with coupons and sales. I know several people here can recommend other places to get them as well.

 

I am pretty new to this life as well, but i have to say the info found here has been very helpful.

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moneymeister

Welcome and sorry to hear about the diagnosis. When I was diagnosed, I think I went into a 2 month panic attack. Happily it is much more do-able that it felt at first. Many of the normal diabetic meds are cheap (as others mentioned).

 

I see my doctor quarterly. He taps on stuff, listens to stuff and out the door I go minus a 30 buck so-pay.

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adiantum

Hello Francis, Could you consider  not taking meds but changing your diet & activity instead if finances are crippling.

 

Its not for everyone, but some of us here dont take meds at all but we keep counting all carbs in our daily foods making sure it doesnt go over a certain limit that we have worked to suit ourselves.

It is vital that you have a blood glucose meter & plenty of test strips so you can gauge what foods you tolerate & those you dont.

Apparently strips & meters are cheap at Walmart.

 

Exercise is also vital . These 2 things also have to be addressed even if you take meds

 

If you try just diet & exercise, then do it right .

 

Whichever way you choose,  keep reading the posts on this forum for inspiration, ideas & support.

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meyery2k

Francis,

 

I don't know your exact circumstances but I would like to share mine in the hope of providing some inspiration.

 

I was diagnosed in January.  My A1C was 7.5 and my first fasting glucose was 291.  The doctor told me I had diabetes, shook my hand, handed me some prescriptions, and walked me to the door.

 

While I am dramatizing that a little, that is how it felt.  I had no idea what to do.  I have seen the complications of diabetes first hand and now found out I might get to experience them myself.  I am obese, my BP was 160/110 and my thyroid was underactive so I was a little messed up.

 

I was scared too.  I had no idea what diabetes was and I thought it meant I would have to give up a lot of foods.  I have discovered the truth is that I can trade the foods I used to enjoy for even better ones.

 

I found this forum early on and the people here accepted me with compassion and loads of great advice.  I can only hope to learn from their example and help others.

 

Diabetes is a disease of trends.  Start with little changes.  Eating less carbohydrates may make controlling your glucose easier.  Just reduce them a little at a time.  It took me a couple months to really get into it but I now no longer eat rice, potatoes, bread, cakes, cookies, soda, sugar, and many processed foods.  I have replaced many of these items with vegetables and, as I have gotten used to the new foods, have come to love them as much as the old, if not more.  You will find many wonderful ideas for food.  In fact, the best fried chicken I ever prepared for myself was as a diabetic with a non-wheat based flour.  My old faves were rice, pastas, and potatoes.  My new faves are cauliflower, kale, and zucchini.  Of course there are many other wonderful vegetables out there but I know those 3 fill me up and there are so many ways to prepare them!

 

Consider most fruit as a candy.

 

On a good note - how great is a diet where people say to eat bacon, use cream, use butter, and eat more steak?

 

The best investment is an inexpensive meter with inexpensive strips.  You can use these to see how your body reacts to certain types of foods and will learn what you can and cannot eat.  Eat to your meter is a mantra to live by.  You might find yourself surprised at what you can tolerate.

 

Diabetes is a part of your life but it does not have to rule you.

 

It will take time to get used to your medicine and to see real downward trends so don't get discouraged.  It took about 4-6 weeks for my Metformin to really kick in.  I now test in the mornings between 80-100 (usually high 80's to low 90's). 

 

I started exercising slowly and now walk 4 miles a day.  I have dropped from 313 lbs. to around 275 lbs.

 

Your vision might get a little funny as the sugar comes out of your eye fluids.  My short vision was very poor for a time and I needed to buy some cheap magnifiers.  My vision now seems to be back to normal or maybe a little better.  Don't rush out and get a prescription until your glucose is well controlled.  At that time you will be getting an eye exam anyway.

 

My last A1C at the end of February was 5.5 and the doctor was already asking me if I wanted to try dropping the Metformin.  My pride said yes, my logic said no.  It seems to work for me and I don't have side effects anymore.

 

Welcome to ClubD! and, while it is not a club any of us wanted to join, you will find that you can still live a rich full life.

 

Don't be afraid to ask questions.  I have asked all kinds of crazy questions and someone has always taken the time to teach me.

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jwags

Diabetes doesn't have to be expensive. Start off with the generic meds and go on a low carb diet and exercise. Many doctors try to push the newer more expensive meds. Try the cheaper generics, they are often $4 a month. The better you can control your diabetes the more money you will save in the long run. Also when choosing your insurance plan it may be wise to up to a better coverage plan.

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predb4

when you have diabetes, your blood sugars are high because of several causes.

 

the one cause you can control is the food, so the fewer carbs you eat, the less medication you will need.  you save on the food bill and you save on the medical bill by eating low carb.

 

many people also could lower blood sugar with exercise, so those who can should try that.

 

it is like the lights in your house, you lower your light bill by turning off all lights and appliances when not in use, the effect is long term.

 

so you will save your betacells and your money by eating low carb long term.

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jims_forum

Well, much good advice and comment.

 

My fare is metformin and insulin ( humalog lispro - u-100 vial.

 

Today $ 253 in US. In Canada - $ 26 to 70 a vial.

 

Metformin is cheap - thank goodness.

 

This insulin has been made for years. This jump in price is disgraceful!

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unchienne

I understand how you feel. I was diagnosed a few years ago in late October. I had horrible insurance with a 2,500 dollar deductible. Quite a shock for someone who always had an HMO and was never sick beyond the occasional sinus infection. Just in 2 months, I met that deductible...only to have to start again in January. I have better insurance now, but the constant visits add up. Here is some advice I can give you. Maybe a couple will apply.

 

  1. If your insurance has the option, opt for an FSA account. That made a big difference for me to have a small pre-taxed amount taken from my check each month and then have a lump sum to go through whenever I had to pay for visits or prescriptions.
  2. ALWAYS ask for samples if trying a new medication. When I first got diagnosed, I didn't do this and ended up paying over 100 dollars on medication that didn't work or I had a bad reaction to.
  3. I am not suggesting you leave a doctor you're comfortable with. However, if you go somewhere new, check for a facility that has in-house labs. Everyone's insurance is different, but at my old doctor, the labs were a separate entity, and I had to pay out-of-pocket costs. However, where I am now, it's all in-house, and I haven't had to pay for any labs/blood panels so far, only visits.
  4. If you do find a medicine that works and it's relatively new, ask your doctor about any discount cards or a free month's supply. Then check the website for any further offers. As I was told once, sometimes the pharms work with you to spread the word and get more patients taking their medication and will offset costs.

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Bar&In

Work OT

 

Wish I had a better suggestion but all I got at the moment, I work on average 60 per week and still broke from cost of pump, CGM and insulin....I don't even factor in meter and strips because that chump change compared to the others.

 

Good Luck.

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