DSMA Blog Carnival. Doing the best I can.

This month’s DSMA Blog Carnival subject has to do with those dreaded (sometimes) visits with the medical professionals that we rely on to help us manage our diabetes. Specifically, the questions are:

Do you get nervous or stressed when you have to go to your endo/doc appointment?
Why or why not? Be honest.

The simple answer is that I don’t stress too much about these visits anymore.

Okay, I stress a little before appointments with my physician. That’s probably because she doesn’t see too many diabetics, and she probably doesn’t have too many male clients. I’ve picked up on that, and I still have trouble talking to her, and that’s partly my fault. I’m working on it. She’s a good doc, and I think we’re both trying.

I don’t really stress at all before visits with my endocrinologist. I try to be as honest as I can, and as diligent at following her plan for me. And if I have trouble with her plan, I tell her why. And then we talk about it. That’s how it should be, I think.

Why do I seem relatively calm about these visits? Mostly that’s due to age, and the fact that I’ve been dealing with the ups and downs of this disease for 21 years. And wow, I can’t count how many of these visits I’ve made over the years, to doctors good and bad. You know what? Whether my numbers are good or bad, I feel like I’m already doing the best I can. At this point, I don’t have to apologize for anything.

But here’s the danger with that kind of logic: It only works if I’m really doing the best I can. If we’re going to expect doctors, nurses, CDEs, etc. to give us the respect we deserve, we need to show that we’re making the effort to manage our care the best we can. That does NOT mean we need to have perfect A1c numbers, that we are meeting our weight loss goals, that we are logging every BG number. It means that we need to show that we’re making the effort to reach our goals. We can’t treat our endos and docs like they’re just the customer service folks who write our prescriptions every 90 days.

However… if YOU ARE making the effort, and your numbers aren’t where you want them, and your doctor’s answer to that is to make you feel guilty for not managing your care better? Then you need to run, not walk away. Find someone who will give you solutions, not shame.

Like a lot of things, these visits are a balancing act. When we’re doing the best we can, really doing it, we can sit with our endos/docs as an equal, with less stress, ready to deal with whatever comes up. And when our medical professionals treat us as individuals, not soulless slags with the standard “how are your sugars” scripted question and answer, call and response routine, we can feel a little less stress about our next visit. Best of luck with your next appointment. Do your best… your very best leading up to it. And don’t take any crap from anyone. I always wanted to say that.

This post is my June entry in the DSMA Blog Carnival. If you’d like to participate too, you can get all of the information at http://diabetessocmed.com/2012/june-dsma-blog-carnival-2/

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  • Karen  On June 27, 2012 at 6:19 pm

    Great points . . . . and all totally true. But I find I still stress out anyway. 😦 I’m going to read this post again before my next appointment though, it just might help me!


    • StephenS  On June 27, 2012 at 10:42 pm

      Thanks Karen. I have to admit… part of my comfort level comes with age. Hopefully, your stress will go away without getting older!



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