Friday, July 3, 2015

Day 4 - Systematic Limitations With Diabetes

With diabetes we're obviously going to face some things within the system that are going to be limiting. Money is the biggest one. If we don't have insurance then money is going to be a larger issue for ourselves and a massive limitation. Money always has been a limiting factor on our movement within the society and with diabetes and medication being so expensive, without insurance, this makes it very difficult for us to not only expand our lives but to simply survive as well. There are other limitations that revolve around this point as well such as the need for insurance which means that we need to find a stable job which will provide those benefits which can mean that we are liable to become stuck at a job because they provide those benefits. It is similar to becoming comfortable with the amount of money one makes at a certain point and creating a lifestyle based on that income then seeing it difficult to change because the life that is created is based on that income.

So to give an example of what I am speaking about I am going to share what I went through with it.

When I turned 21 I was off of my parents benefits which means that the insulin, test strips, needles etc were no longer covered and I would have to pay full price for what was required. This meant that I needed to find a full time job that offered benefits so that I could not only pay for the medication but to survive because if I needed to pay full price I would run out of money because my outcome would have been larger than my income at that time. This also meant that I was basically, from my perspective at that time, stuck with the life that I had because in order for me to possibly change my life at that moment I would need to save up a LOT of money so that I could cover medication and living expenses for when I didn't have a job so that I could learn or do something else with my life. So my thought basis was that I am 21, I need to keep a job so that I can pay for my medication and if I quit the job then my money is going to run out quickly and I need to survive, so I need to keep this job in order to survive and there is very little room for myself to change where I am at because I am dependent on the job for benefits which isn't a pleasant thought process to go through at that age

So I did find a job that offered benefits, really good benefits which I was satisfied with. After a year or so at the job I decided that I wanted to upgrade my high school marks so that I could apply for university but with the need for the job and for the benefits this made the task quite difficult for myself. I could not quit the job and go to school full time .I was working days at the time which means that for me to attend school and upgrade my marks I need to switch to nights.

Within looking at the prospect of going to school and what I had to go through so that I could upgrade my marks, keep benefits so that I could pay for the medication to survive and give myself a change to expand and better myself I was quite pissed off because needing to keep benefits in order to support myself within diabetes was a limitation within the system. Meaning that because of the way that the system is designed in relation to needing money to expand yourself and when having an illness that takes a lot of money to manage it is quite hindering and obviously can be quite a piss off when we can become stuck due to money - I'm sure that there are many other people out there that experience the same thing regardless of them having diabetes or not.

All in all I did push myself to go onto the night position and take a course every 2 months, it could have gone faster if I was able to give up the job and just focus on the studies - I think all together I needed 6 courses upgraded for the university program I was looking at which was going to take me a year and a half, and it could have been 8 months if I didn't need to work = taking two courses at once rather than a single course, but I couldn't due to needing benefits. So I pushed myself to work from 11pm to 7am, I would bike home, shower quickly, then bike to school, attend class until half past 12, bike home, finish up any homework and then sleep for 4 hours before I had to get up again and prepare for work. As you can see it wasn’t easy  

The job that I had was a piece work job, meaning every night I had an allotted amount of time to add up to and I could finish 8 hours worth of work within 4-5 hours if I pushed myself very hard. Luckily the job and the managers I had were very relaxed and understanding of my situation and I am grateful for their support to this day, so I was able to finish the amount of work that I had to do quickly then use the extra time to study or finish up any assignments or just put in extra time getting to know the information. It was difficult for a bit, most days I was dead tired and running on adrenaline or stress for most of the time, but the point here is that yes things were difficult for me to give myself a better life through education and it was difficult to manage the systemic rules that dictate ones life, but it is possible to move through those points by applying self will. Diabetes need not be an absolute limitation to your life, it is going to make it a bit more difficult but that should only be motivation to push yourself beyond any preconceived ideas about what you can and cannot do.

Diabetes will make life more difficult than someone who does not have it, but comparing or judging yourself or others for what they have or do not is going to create more issues than if the judgement or comparison didn't exist. There are always ways around things I have found, it is going to take effort on our own part though and if we're comparing ourselves to other people's lives and saying how difficult our life is or how limited we are then, well, we are the own cause of our limitation because within comparing that point we're often not looking at solutions for ourselves. So rather look at solutions for what we want to create for ourselves than stir within the limitations that it does impose onto our lives.

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