Furloughed mom faces choice of buying insulin or making mortgage payment

Federal worker worries about affording insulin

Alexandria, Va. — Lynette Gabourel has been a federal employee for 38 years, including 10 years in the Navy. She said she has always been committed  service. But now she's stuck, having been furloughed from her job at the International Trade Commission amid the longest government shutdown in U.S. history.

A single mother of three grown children, two of whom live with her, Gabourel is worried about paying her mortgage and her diabetes medications.

"For this month, I'm good," she said.

But if her situation continues into February, she said she's going to have to make a choice between insulin and her mortgage payment.

Her 19-year-old son Cirian is helping any way he can, even taking extra shifts at his restaurant so he can help her pay for her insulin.

"It's making me very emotional because it's wonderful knowing that I'm loved in this way, but it hurts me as a mom that my son has to pick up extra shifts at his restaurant to help me get medications that before I had no problems paying for," Gabourel said.

She has been enduring shutdowns for years but says this one is so senseless that it might be the last straw.

"I feel like I'm a pawn in some political game," she said.

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    Chip Reid

    Chip Reid is CBS News' national correspondent.