August 1, 2014

Living with Type 2 Diabetes: The Reasons Behind Being Non-Compliant

The Diabetes life is one of stringent rules and guidelines. Type 2 diabetes is usually adult onset which means when one is diagnosed as an adult usually they are already set in their ways and the challenge to essentially reprogram oneself to the new diabetic life is quite challenging.

When I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes I was 19 years old, I was young and was honestly not ready to deal with the lifestyle changes the doctor prescribed me. I couldn’t imagine giving up some of my favorite foods, (exercise was really not a problem since I was fairly active in my youth) daily Insulin Injections and finger pricks was just too overwhelming, to make matters worse the so called diabetes complications seemed so far off and so naturally I rebelled.

After the Initial few days in the hospital to get my blood sugars back down and the initial Insulin prescription was used up, I simply did not refill it (it didn’t help that I did not have insurance at the time). Instead of dealing with my diabetes, I tackled the only thing I could which was my fitness and diet to a certain degree.

The more I worked out the better I felt and while I wasn’t a very unhealthy eater, I managed to just tweak my diet a little bit and it worked which meant testing less and before you know it, I that stopped completely. The combination of my youth and economical circumstances (I was broke) led me to ignore my type  2 diabetes for a few years, knowing in the back of my mind what I was getting myself into and being helpless to do anything about it.

The reason I am sharing this story is to say that for many of us being a non compliant diabetic might not be by choice. Above and beyond the stigmas of diabetes, many in the diabetes circles will thumb their noses at those who are non compliant without realizing a persons  circumstances and to me this is plain wrong.

The biggest Reason one becomes non compliant is financial and if in this predicament, then here are a few things one can do that cost little or next to nothing to help lower lower these diabetes costs. All it takes is being proactive.

  1. Diet: – Since trying to eat healthier costs a bit more (Brown bread costs more than white bread)  One just has to roll up their sleeves and find creative ways to do this. Buying generic instead of name brand. A local co op will give access to fruits and veggies at a lower cost than grocery chains. Substituting beans for meat in the diet for protein requirements.
  2. Fitness: -  You do not need a gym membership to be fit, exercises like walking or jogging requires minimal investment beyond the attire. Local community centers have gyms and work out events that are free of charge or cost little for residents. If you need equipment then buying it used on Craigslist or Ebay will save a bundle.
  3. Diabetes Medications: – Free clinics and neighborhood health clinics will treat a diabetes patient for free or have lower co pays based on income than a regular clinic. A patient can also receive their prescriptions for a fraction of the cost or for free from their pharmacies. Pharmaceutical companies have programs called prescription assistance programs or PAP which help those who cannot afford their medications get them for free. There is an income verification process with all these options but jumping through hoops should not be a concern when life saving insulin or other diabetes medication is needed.

Some Grocery chains here in the North East offer the most common  diabetes prescriptions for free, also do not forget that one can always get generic versions of their diabetes medications which are just as effective.