As some of you know, I have type 1 diabetes, an organ specific autoimmune disease, not to be confused with the more common type 2.
People with type 1 must inject insulin in order to survive. I get mine via an insulin pump.
I've now had this illness for about 33 years and not once during all those years have I thought that I may die from lack of insulin.
I have excellent health insurance, not all diabetics are as fortunate as I am.
Then this happened:
On or about the 6th of December, I submitted my insulin refill request to Walmart Pharmacy, a division of the largest store in the world.
Some time went by, I never received a text that my order was filled, so I called them.
The person who answered told me they were out of insulin. His tone of voice was nonchalant, as if this was no big deal. He didn't know when their order would arrive.
Fortunately, I don't wait until the last minute to reorder, so I have a vial and some leftovers in a few other vials.
But what about people who can't afford this way too expensive medicine? (Fortunately, Lilly who produces the insulin I use will again reduce the price in January 2022.)
Unfortunately, some people need large amouts of insulin every day to just survive, for them, it can get hideously expensive.
You know I'm old now, somewhat wise, so few things make me angry these days.
But the cost of insulin does. It's one of those things that just infuriates me.
Yes, I know there's been talk in congress, but that's it, just talk. I don't have much hope things will change.
What about those people who wait until the last minute to reorder? Because they don't have the money. I'm sure for now, they will find insulin somewhere, but still.
I called back today, December 15, to find out when I could expect to get mine.
The guy said they expect a delivery on the 19th, which is this Sunday.
Exactly two weeks after I ordered it.
That is, if it does show up on that date.
I can't help but wonder if this may be a sign of things to come.
Much has been written lately about supplyline problems. When I read it, I thought mostly about delays in Christmas presents, no new cars to buy, and so on.
Insulin and other life-saving medications were just not on my mind.
It seems inconceivable that a real danger to people's lives could be caused by these supply issues.
Not right now, but eventually.
Not somewhere else.