Diabetic Patient Shares Struggles of Dealing with Medical Expenses
WESLACO – Diabetes is a serious disease that thousands of people in the Rio Grande Valley suffer from. A diagnosis usually recommends a lifestyle change and medicine that can be costly.
Prescription medicines, insulin, and doctors’ visits – it can all add up and cost thousands of dollars.
There was no family history of diabetes for Gerardo Estrada, but he found himself sitting in the doctor’s office, shocked by the diagnosis.
“Suddenly, my eyesight was blurry and I couldn’t see right. That’s when I decided to go see a doctor. I didn’t know what was going on, that’s when they told me I was diabetic,” he said.
Doctors told Estrada his high stress levels were to blame. After the initial shock, he said he tried to have a positive outlook.
“Being diagnosed as diabetic is not the end of the world, you just have to find a better way to live,” he said.
Estrada started to make changes to his diet, eating more fruits and vegetables. Estrada said he even started meditating to help him remain stress free.
“You have to make sure you take care of yourself because the body will deteriorate,” he explained.
Still, Estrada said the cost of his medication remains a constant worry for him.
“It’s very expensive, one medicine bottle with 30 pills costs over $300,” he said.
With no health insurance, it means Estrada has to pay for everything out of pocket.
“There’s time where you have to decide are you going to pay a bill or pay for your medicine. You’re bound to spend all your money over time,” he said.
Estrada said he knows changes he’s made in his life, along with the medication, have made a difference.
“I have small children, so I know they need, so I try to take care of myself,” he said.
Estrada said he’s been searching for programs to help alleviate some of the costs associated with diagnosis. He said his health is priceless so he will make sure to do whatever he can to continue living a better life.
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The Medicare open enrollment period ends Dec. 7