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?
My diabetes health care team consists of two people for the most part – my endocrinologist and my diabetes educator (CDE). I am fortunate to consider my relationship with both of them pretty darn good. I spend more time with my CDE, M, at each visit (although I hate to admit it’s been a while since I’ve seen her) since we go over in more detail my blood sugar readings, glucose monitor history and other records like food and exercise. My endo, Dr. K, goes over things with me at more of a high level. Since M and I do a lot of poking and prodding while together, I feel like she has a true sense of my day to day management. I also talk more with her about my advocacy efforts, social media involvement included. With that being said, I think there is something that I would like Dr. K to know.
I’ve started with minor complications. And this seems to surprise Dr. K. I’ve only been seeing her for about 2 years. (I’ve been going to that diabetes practice for about 15 years but Dr. K took over for my old endo when she left for a different practice) For this reason, she has only really seen the better side of my diabetes management. When I first began being treated here, I was on MDIs of a sliding scale with an A1c in the 8%-9% range if I had to guess. Then around 2006, I got much more serious about things and got an insulin pump. It was ever so slow progress, but over the years since then, there has been improvement in both my A1c and my overall management. Maybe in her eyes, this is how I’ve always been. But I haven’t. I’ve also have diabetes for 31 years. This is a long time of high and low glucose levels. Much of that time with higher than desired levels for various reasons. These things can lead to complications. I’ve seen what can happen through my father. And I am scared to freaking death of that. I’m doing everything I possibly can, now, to keep the complications to a minimum. I sincerely appreciate her goal of keeping my A1c at a desired level, without too many lows, to keep my diabetes health in check. I’m very glad she realizes the importance of that in this stage of my life. But I’m not sure why she’s surprised at what has started in my body. I don’t think she’s ever asked what my diabetes was like all those years ago. Maybe that would help her put things in better perspective. Even so, I’m hoping we can continue to work together to keep me alive and my organs healthy for a long, long time.