Friend with long term Type 2 diabetes with insulin

Posted by kateia @kateia, Nov 25, 2019

Is there someone that you can check with to see if you take too much insulin? I have a friend that is on 3 different insulins plus a pill. She is on medicare and lives only on her Social Security. She always ends up in the donut hole and pays over $300/month for insulin during that time. She doesn't know where she will find the money next year. Is there someone she can go to that would work with her to possibly change her dosage for insulin so that maybe she could get off or lower her usage. Someone that would monitor her. She's been diabetic for close to 30 years. She's always complaining about being too high or too low and can't seem to find a happy medium. She is very health conscious and really tries to eat right. She does not exercise. Her doctor would be no help at all. She has no money to pay someone to help. She counts NET carbs and tries to say around 25/day. She never writes what she eats down and just calculates in her head what her carbs are. She tries to follow the original Adkins program. So she basically eats no fruit or starchy veggies. I just count carbs and usually eat 30-40/meal. I eat everything in moderation. Try to stay away from sweets, starches, and combine protein with carbs when I snack. When I told her that my A1C was down to 5.8 she told me that I was in the "romantic" stage and to just wait and would have to be on insulin soon. I know the longer that you are diabetic the harder it gets but to me it just seems crazy when she's type 2 diabetic and takes so much insulin. I'd like her to get on this site but she won't. I know she takes a long term, short term insulin pens, plus something by syringe plus, I think metformin. It just seems like way too much. Any suggestions???

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Hi @kateia that must be so difficult to see your friend struggle so much.

@astaingegerdm @retiredteacher and @lovette26 all have experience with type II diabetes and may be able to offer suggestions.

Back to you @kateia, have you been able to find any resources to help your friend?


I visited with her yesterday. She did see the SHIIP person last week and did get some relief by changing insurance. However, she will be in the donut hole by April so will pay out of pocket then. The company that makes her insulin will not help out on costs since she's on Medicare. I don't think she qualifies for Medicaid. Or, if that will even help.


@kateia Good morning for a different topic concerning your friend and insulin. I am a Type 2 diabetic, but do not take any medicine. I was just over from
pre-diabetic to diabetic so have been trying to control my numbers with diet and exercise. I wish I could help, but I am not familiar with insulin doses. Does your friend see her general physician or an endocrinologist? One thing I know is that you cannot force someone to do something they don't want to do. She seems to follow her diet plan. How old is she? Does she exercise? Why does she take so much insulin? There are diabetics who take insulin and they could answer you on this medical issue. Hopefully, some members and Mentors will respond and ask better questions and give information on insulin.
I am sorry that this is out of my experience.


@kateia At least when your friend gets on the other side of the donut hole the costs will decrease considerably. I was in that situation with a medication I used to have to take.
Regarding her numbers though, does she test her BG? If that is not bad then she is probably on the right dose of insulin I think. You said that she complains about it being too high or too low. I presume you mean her BG. If she is following her diet as well as you think then I would think it would be more consistent but since I have not had that experience I can't know for sure.
When I very first diagnosed with diabetes my doctor put me on insulin for a short time to just get things going. Then I was on metformin for a while, but now I am not on anything and my A1c, like yours, was recently 5.8. The only time I had a real problem was once when I was on a high dose of prednisone. I did have to use insulin then and test frequently.
Honestly though, I think the bottom line is if her doctor is no help she needs to find a new doctor, preferably an endocrinologist. Most PCPs will handle diabetes too but I go to an endocrinologist. I feel that he knows more than my PCP. Do you think you can convince her to change doctors?


My insulin is prescribed by my doctor who has a 340-B plan through a specific pharmacy. I only pay 25.00 per month for my insulin. Ask your friend to see if her physician's office has something like that to cover the cost of insulin.


It sounds like your friend needs to see a specialist about her Diabetes. I myself have Type 2 Diabetes and am on Insulin and pills and still my sugar is out of control. It was suggested to me that I see a Endocrinlogist which is a doctor who only specializes in Diabetes. Does your friend qualify for Medicaid, possssibly she could be covered. Good Luck Inspired


Another thing to look into - can she get on an insulin pump? When you use a pump, the costs are covered by Medicare Part B instead of Medicare Part D. With my supplement plan, after I pay my annual deductible, the full cost on my insulin is covered by insurance.


I contact the company that makes the medicines to see if they have savings cards.

Is she seeing an endocrinologist to manage her diabetes meds?

She can discuss cost concerns with her doctor. Sometimes they can change the medicine to a cheaper one that has similar effects. Sometimes doctors have samples of meds.

If there is any way possible, she needs to comply with doctors orders. Paying for complications of diabetes is much more expensive.

Have a great day!

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