Tag Archives: doctors

#DBlogWeek – Day One. To share or not to share?

diabetes-blog-week

Yay!!! Diabetes Blog Week has officially begun. Myself and many others will be posting for the next 7 (seven!) days. Haven’t heard of Diabetes Blog Week? Get the lowdown by clicking on the banner above. Now, on to the first day’s subject:

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?

Well, um… my endocrinologist already reads my blog. Not every day, but enough that if I post something about a terrible low, for instance, I’ll probably get an e-mail within the next week or so.

What do I wish she, and my primary doctor could see about my daily life with diabetes? Probably that my life isn’t perfect, but I’m living. And I’m living a pretty good life. Sure, there are tough days, but I keep on going. It’s not the tough days that define me. It’s getting back up after I’ve been knocked down by this disease that means everything. And if I’m having a hard time getting my BG up into the hundreds or down into the hundreds, it doesn’t always mean I’m screwing up. Sometimes it means I’d be even worse off if I wasn’t trying so hard.

But honestly, when it comes to me and my endo, there’s not much I don’t share. What? What’s that? You’re honest and open with your endo? In what world does this happen?

It happens in a world where your doctor speaks your language. Where your doctor wants to hear what’s going on with you… so if updates are needed in your care, you can discuss them. It happens in an atmosphere where the object of an appointment is both to measure how you’re doing and to discuss what to do in the future to make you better. Such a universe does exist, and I encourage you to find it if you haven’t already.

Now, what do I hope my medical team doesn’t see? I hope my doctors don’t see how concerned I am about my weight. I’m doing what I can to keep from gaining, but my metabolism just isn’t helping me these days. Still, I’m doing what I can. But I could use the help of a dietician. I’m still eating a lot of junk. Anyway, that’s probably the top of the list.

Other than that, my medical team pretty much knows everything. And that’s good. My doctors can help the most when they know the most. It goes without saying (but I’ll say it anyway), two-way discussion without making a patient feel guilty is worth its weight in gold. Hope your medical team is 14 karat spectacular!
 
 
 

Has it been 3 months already?

Happy Labor Day in America! Here in the USA, we set aside the first Monday in September to celebrate those working souls who have, and continue, to help make this country what it is. At least the good things that it is. Those working souls are most of us, so here’s to us.

Has it been three months already? In fact, it has been three months since I last visited my endocrinologist. Last Friday was the time to get some tests done, talk about the last three months with regard to my diabetes, and make any necessary adjustments.

My A1c? It was a little better than last time. Out of deference to some of the people I’ve been reading in the DOC (Diabetes Online Community), I’m not revealing what that number is anymore. Those people are right… it’s just a number, and I don’t want anyone feeling really good or really bad about where they are based on my numbers. Everyone is different. Your Diabetes May Vary.

We talked about a lot of things in this visit. We decided that I need to adjust my nighttime basal rate down a bit, and also adjust my morning basal down a bit.

But I also admitted to something that I think I’ve been doing for a while, but I haven’t let on to yet:

I feel like I’m starting to bolus based on where I want my BG to be, rather than based on where my BG is and what I’m eating. I think that I’ve been starting to say to myself, for example, “Okay, I’m a little high now; I’m going to bolus a little extra to get to where I want to be, and 100 mg/DL is too high”. Do you do that, or is it just me?

My endo told me that my insulin usage has been about 60% basal, 40% bolus. Interesting to know, but is that good? It turns out that the percentages should probably be a little closer to 50-50. However, she added, “That thing where you’re over-bolusing to get to a certain low target? Stop that.” Okay, Doctor.

We also talked about my 100 mile bike ride back in June, where I had gotten dehydrated at the end. I’m hoping to do a ride co-sponsored by JDRF in a couple of weeks, and I was seeking advice on how to keep history from repeating itself.

The answer is to get a little more salt in my system prior to the ride, to get a little more protein in my system during the ride, that electrolytes are good early in the ride (but not late), and to listen to my body, and if it’s bothering me, to give it up and live to ride another day.

That’s about all. It was a good visit. I like being able to talk with a doctor who speaks the same language. Who I can ask questions of, and who I feel comfortable answering questions from. Not much more to it than that. I hope your next visit goes as well.
 
 
 

Super Dia-heros

The world needs more Superheros!

I suppose so. But I can think of a few Superheros that I would like to retire… as soon as possible.

The Great Spousal Unit is a Superhero (Supershero?). She’s always got my back. In the middle of a road trip, or in the middle of the night, she’s always there when I have an issue. For all 21 years of this disease, she’s been a rock. I would like to give her a break. She’s earned it after all these years. I don’t want her to worry about me anymore. Without me asking.

The Live-In Niece has been terrific. I’m the first, the only, diabetic she’s ever known. Or known about. She knows nothing of hypoglycemia or ketoacidosis. But she asks a lot of questions. And she never makes me feel bad for being a pain in the ass because I had a low or I’m mad at the diabetes today. Without me asking.

Prior to the Live-In Niece was the Live-In Nephew. My Godson. Probably the relative I’m closest to. And diabetes freaks him out. But when he was confronted by something that freaked him out, he was able to help me. Without me asking.

I’ve had a couple of crappy doctors over the years. But I’ve had a couple of super ones too. That’s you, Dr. Mowry in Cincinnati, who originally diagnosed me after two doctors couldn’t be bothered to take the time; and you, Dr. Pao in Baltimore, who speaks my language and gets me thinking about adjustments to make things better, instead of always staying the same with lesser results. Thank you, thank you.

Thank you Diabetes Online Community. For the first time in I don’t know how long, I feel validated. Can’t tell you how much it meant to find out that others have the same experiences, the same hurdles, the same highs and lows. I not only feel validated… I feel more confident that I can live in this world. That I belong in this world.

Where would I be without JDRF and ADA? Your advocacy has brought us countless advances in care, support, and on, and on, and on. It’s easy to take you for granted. But these two groups are full of thousands of Superheros.

And what about the companies that have developed technology or drugs to help us continue to live a life that means something? Medtronic, Animas, Dexcom, Novo Nordisk, Aventis. That’s right.. I’m givin’ props to you, big Pharma. I’ve made it as far as I have in part thanks to you.

There are many Superheros in my diabetic life (Diaheros?) But I would like to retire all of you. I hope that soon, very soon, you can find the time to focus on someone else. Another cause. Or maybe a vacation. In the meantime, thank you sooooo much for being my Superheros.

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