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Question:

From Bellingham, Washington, USA:

I was introduced to insulin about 36 years ago when I was pregnant, I am still taking my shots, and I am trying to do all the things that I am supposed to do, but recently I was diagnosed with a nerve problem in both my hands and my feet. They burn and are extremely sensitive to touch, and I am scared to death that I will lose my feet. I am constantly having problems with my vision, and I can't see things clearly any more.

However, my biggest problem is since my husband lost his job, we have no medical insurance, our income is to much for assistance, but I can't afford my supplies. My blood glucose monitor is not taking proper readings any more so I probably need a new one, I can no longer afford the strips, and I am out of my pills.

Today I was told by the American Diabetes Association that they no longer have the programs that could have helped me get the things I needed. I just don't understand this, I make too much money for any kind of assistance from our DSHS. I can't afford to pay for the supplies I need because I do not make enough money, and there does not seem to be anyone in my city who can help me. If the ADA can't help me with the supplies that I need then to whom do I turn? You seem to be my last resort. Please contact me with any ideas that you may have.

Answer:

I took the liberty of contacting the Washington State Diabetes Control Program. They advise that in Bellingham there are two community clinics that they work with which provide diabetes care services, and which they believe to have a sliding scale. (Lowest fees for patients with lower incomes. They could also perhaps help you to get enrolled in the Basic Health Program which is low-cost health insurance, state subsidized (for people who have no insurance but don't qualify for Medicaid).

DSH

[Editor's comment: Please see someone at one of these clinics as soon as possible. Since it appears that you have developed complications of diabetes (nerve and eye problem), it is likely that will also qualify for Social Security, and the social worker at the clinic should be able to help you apply if you qualify. Also, the clinic probably has some free supplies to get you by until your financial situation improves. SS]

[Editor's comment: There are diabetes control programs (DCP) in most of the states of the United States. People can contact their local public health nurse, or their state's Department of Health offices, to get contact information to call the DCP, which will be able to supply such information in many cases. If there is no DCP, the state's Department of Heath can probably supply local information to help. WWQ]

DTQ-20020110163927
Original posting 24 Jan 2002
Posted to Community Resources

  
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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:30
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