Dex the Halls

Our school system’s PTA groups hold a Festival of Trees as an annual fundraiser. Local businesses and organizations pay a small fee to enter a tree. Students, teachers, and school groups can decorate a tree for free. People pay a $5 for a ticket to come view the trees and vote for their favorite. If they bring canned goods for our local food pantry or hygiene items for our Veterans Association, they receive a ticket for each item, which they can then use to vote for their favorite tree. We have some precious and creatively decorated trees on display! Preschool and kindergarten classes decorated with handmade ornaments, the high school science classes decorated with handmade clay models of body parts, several neighborhoods decorated trees, and organizations around town celebrated with ornaments representing their areas.

For people unfamiliar with the day-to-day life of type 1 diabetes, the ornaments on this tree may seem scary, sad, or distasteful. For those living with type 1 diabetes, this tree is a celebration of life!

Our Diabe-tree is a tree of life, decorated with used T1D supplies courtesy of Grasshopper and local T1D families. Without the insulin that came in these now empty vials, they would not be here to celebrate Christmas. With these supplies, people with type 1 diabetes manage a tricky chronic life threatening condition that requires training, patience, persistence, constant vigilance, and support.

I called our diabetes supplier and our pharmacy to get the cash price for each item on the tree and under the tree. The cash price is what a person pays if they aren’t using health insurance for the purchase. The cost Insurance plans can vary widely, so it seemed best to get the cash price as a baseline.

Under the tree:

  • $162 for 1 box of 10 MiniMed Mio Infusion Sets for Medtronic Insulin Pump
  • $28.80 for 1 box of 10 MiniMed Insulin Pump Reservoirs
  • $52 for 1 box of 100 BD UltraFine Needles
  • $553.18 for 1 box of 2 Baqsimi glucagon nasal powder for severe low blood sugar
  • $149.95 for 1 box of 10 AutoSoft XC Infusion Sets for TSlim Insulin Pump
  • $28.80 for 1 box of 10 TSlim Insulin Pump Cartridge
  • $405 for 1 box of 10 OmniPod Insulin Pumps
  • $500 for 1 box of 3 Dexcom G6 Continuous Glucose Monitor Sensors
  • $600 for 2 vials of Novolog Insulin at $300 each
  • $15 for 1 box of 102 AccuCheck FastClix Lancets
  • $275.22 for 1 box of 5 Aspart FlexPen Insulin
  • $321.46 for 1 box of 5 Basaglar QuickPen Insulin
  • $311.18 for 2 boxes of Contour Next Blood Sugar Test Strips, 100 strips at $115.59
  • $43.59 for 1 box of AccuCheck Guide Blood Sugar Test Strips, 100 strips
  • $17.78 for 2 boxes of OneTouch Delica Plus Lancets at $8.89 each
  • $276.59 for 1 Glucagon Kit, rescue injection for severe low blood sugar
    • Total: $3,740.55

On the tree:

  • $7,500 for 25 Novolog Insulin Vials at $300 each
  • $1,333.33 for 8 Dexcom Inserters at $166.66 each
  • $254.83 for 17 AutoSoft XC Inserters at $14.99 each
  • $23.04 for 8 TSlim Cartridges at $2.88 each
  • $231.16 for 4 cans of ContourNext Blood Sugar Test Strips, 50 strips at $57.79 each
  • $526.50 for 13 OmniPod Insulin Pumps at $40.50 each
  • $300 for 1 Dexcom Transmitter
  • $3.62 for 2 Glucose Tab Tubes at $1.81 each
  • $354.33 for 3 Fiasp Pen Vials at $118.11 each
    • Total: $10,526.81

The total for this whole display, both on the tree and under the tree is $14,267.36

There were beautifully decorations this year at the Festival of Trees. I have no doubt that ours was both the most expensively decorated tree if you consider the cash price for these items, and also the least expensive because all of the items had already outlived their usefulness.

While I am passionate about bringing awareness to the difficulty and expense of living with a condition no one asked for or deserved, I am also extremely grateful for these lifesaving medications and devices. Without them, I would not be celebrating with my son!

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