Some diabetics are risking their lives by cutting back or going without necessary medical care because of the recession.
Meanwhile, a study shows the number of people with the disease keeps growing.
It's something that never goes away.
"Diabetes is one of those things you have to take care of 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. There really isn't a vacation from diabetes," said Dr. Mitchell Wicker.
That constant attention is draining on many wallets. Doctors are seeing a drop in regular appointments, and sales of top-selling drugs and products to monitor diabetes are declining, even as the disease keeps growing.
Doctors offices that offer free care say job loss and lack of insurance is mounting on patients who require hundreds of dollars in supplies each month to stay alive.
"We do see a lot of that. A lot of people who have lost their insurance or don't have any way of getting their medication, they'll just go without their medication," said Nichole Anderson who orders medicine for the Little Flower Free Clinic.
Doctors say they are also seeing other people with health problems skimping on medical care because of the recession, but they say diabetics who don't control and monitor the disease face more dire complications. Things like amputations, vision loss, stroke and death.
"They'll drive anywhere between an hour or two hours just to get here because there's no other facility where they live at to get diabetes treatment," added Anderson.
But not reaching out could come at a greater cost.
Doctors say some patients who put off caring for their diabetes end up needing emergency care that costs far more than daily treatment.