Being a new blogger I decided a great way to get more involved in the Diabetes Online Community was to participate in this year’s Diabetes Blog week. What a neat idea! I am looking forward to being challenged and to really have to think about the topics. I am excited to become more connected with my fellow d-bloggers. Let’s get started!
Often our health care team only sees us for about 15 minutes several times a year, and they might not have a sense of what our lives are really like. Today, let’s pretend our medical team is reading our blogs. What do you wish they could see about your and/or your loved one’s daily life with diabetes? On the other hand, what do you hope they don’t see?
This is a tough one for me. I am generally a pretty open and honest person, including with my medical team (sometimes to their great dismay). And, I really like my endocrinologist. I am lucky that I live in an area that has some of the best medical facilities in the country and I have gotten in with an endocrinologist’s office that has a wonderful team approach. I love this. I love that everything is in the same office and every person I see knows my history. I have had some not so nice endocrinologists in the past – whether they lack bedside manner or a personality. I would try to crack jokes with my last endo and it was like talking to a brick wall. I hated going to see her because she expected perfection and would get frustrated with me when my A1c wasn’t a perfect 5.8, or my fasting blood sugars were over 100. She would act as if I wasn’t trying, when I was trying my best with the knowledge I had and really was looking to her to say “OK, we’re doing XY&Z and it’s not really working how we want it to, so let’s try AB&C and see how that goes.” I got none of this with her, instead I received lectures about my blood sugars and weight, deep sighs, and I swear I saw her roll her eyes a time or two. Let’s just say I was not heartbroken when we moved and I left her.
I think some endocrinologists think that in theory, diabetes should be easy to manage – it’s just a numbers game. I understand you are a doctor and “science-y” and this is the stuff that you enjoy. But, living with diabetes is much different than numbers on a paper. With diabetes 2+2 does not always = 4. I think it’s important for doctors to know how many variables go into caring for yourself. How sometimes your sugar just does not want stay above 80 and how frustrating this can be. How you can do one workout one day and your sugar will drop, while the next day it will go sky-high. A lot of the care for diabetes is instinct. Sometimes our instinct is correct, sometimes it isn’t. We, as patients, know our body’s best and we know when something isn’t right. Please don’t dismiss us if we have concerns.
Like I said before, I’m very happy with my current diabetes team. I’ve never felt bad about having an A1c in the 7s (heck, it was 8.7 when I started there). I like that they listen to me when I have concerns and ask me what I think we should do to improve my numbers and overall health. I am an active participant in my healthcare. I’m not perfect and they don’t get angry at me because of this.
I think that if I could send a message to all of the endocrinologists I would encourage them to let their patients be involved. Don’t bark orders at us, don’t get angry at us, work with us, not for us. Remember that there is much more to this disease than insulin to carb ratios, taking shots every day, testing blood sugars. Diabetes is a 24/7 job and it continues for us in between those quarterly appointments. And, for Pete’s sake, laugh at our corny jokes.