Life with Type 1 Diabetes: finger pricks, management and dangers of insulin rationing

KUNA - An illness sometimes invisible to the naked eye, but if you take a closer look, you'll see how Type 1 Diabetes can affect a teen's life.

"It's hard to explain to people who don't know anyone with diabetes or haven't lived with it like we have like they don't understand the struggle that we have to go through every single day," said 15-year-old Lauren Crnich. 

In her day, totaling more than 30 needles. Lauren takes an insulin shot before every meal and an additional one before bed. She also pricks her finger every half hour. She was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes 5 years ago.

"It's a scary disease. They're in charge of keeping themselves alive every day," said her mom Tammi Perdew. 

Something it hasn't stopped her from is her love of softball.

"Softball is my number 1, I love it so much, and my diabetes came into play a lot," says Lauren. 

Her frustrations with the disease being she can't always play to her fullest ability.

"Here were a lot of times over the course of 5 years that I had to sit out, and other players had to sub in for me, and it was annoying because it was something I love so much and seeing opportunity get taken away from me cause my blood sugar is low is so frustrating," said Lauren. 
 
A frustration other diabetics face, the price of insulin. Depending on insurance, the cost can range from  20 dollars to more than $1,000, causing some diabetes to resort to extreme and dangerous tactics to save money.

"It's $20,000 + for everything they have to have every year." 

Nearly 30% of participants in a recent poll, said they'd rationed insulin because they couldn't afford it. According to another study, 1 in 4 diabetics admitted to having rationed their insulin at some point. But making adjustments to insulin can be a dangerous result.

"They can dose too much and go into a coma, they can dose not enough and go into ketoacidosis both are very dangerous, you die from this," said Perdew. 

There's no generic type of insulin meaning no real wiggle room for prices. Despite the dangers and frustrations that come with it, Lauren has found ways to keep her head up, and not her blood sugars.

 

Symptoms of Type 1 Diabetes often include:

  • Frequent urination
  • Increased thirst
  • Dry mouth
  • Itchy or dry skin
  • Increased appetite
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Yeast infections

To learn more about the signs and symptoms of Type 1 Diabetes, visit: https://www.jdrf.org/t1d-resources/about/symptoms/ 

 

To learn the difference between Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes, visit: https://www.healthline.com/health/difference-between-type-1-and-type-2-diabetes 

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