I'm sure that every parent of a type 1 diabetes kid would agree with me that shelling out for medical supplies and doctors' visits is just a given. We'll pay for it no matter what. It's not like deciding whether to take the kids to Disneyland or to buy the more expensive cereal at the grocery store. When it comes to the health and well-being of a child, you just do as much as you can!
I have found, though, that you can be smart about how you do it. I remember a rather frustrating experience when I had to run to a pharmacy and buy an expensive box of test strips because I wasn't able to pick up Kaitlyn's refill for prescription strips until the following week. I learned really quickly that I didn't want to run out of supplies again -- EVER! I've made it a priority to make sure I order my supplies as soon as they're available, so I don't run into that problem in the future.
One thing we haven't done yet -- but I plan to as soon as the enrollment period opens up at my husband's work—is to set up a flexible medical spending account. These accounts, when available, can be an excellent way to pay for medical costs with tax-free dollars. For a family like ours with medical expenses that are substantial and mostly predictable, it is a really cost-effective option.
Above all, my husband and I have made it a priority to make wise purchases and keep a strict budget on all of our spending, so that when it comes time to pay medical bills, it doesn't seem like a burden because we've planned for them. The focus is no longer on how we're going to pay for the medical expenses, but on how we can best take care of our Kaitlyn!
About the author: My name is Kim. My daughter Kaitlyn (the third of our five children) was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes just a few years after my nephew James was diagnosed with the same disease. I'm excited to pair up with my sister-in-law, Jen, to share our story with you!
Disclaimer: The experiences and suggestions recounted in these articles are not intended as medical advice, and they are not necessarily the "typical" experiences of families with a child who has type 1 diabetes. These situations are unique to the families depicted. Families should check with their healthcare professionals regarding the treatment of type 1 diabetes and the frequency of blood glucose monitoring. Jen and Kim are real moms of kids with type 1 diabetes and have been compensated for their contributions to this site.