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Spend Time Listening

It’s been awhile since I posted anything significant about diabetes. I still have diabetes. It still creeps into every aspect of my life, it especially horns in on my sleeping as of late.

I started writing this post then the DSMA Blog Carnival topic for October was posted as: What can diabetes educators/HCP learn from the DOC? and I thought this kind of relates, continue reading for some reflections on my last endocrinologist appointment.

Most of the time I don’t have a problem with the fact that my endo sees only adults making me one of her few Type 1 patients or that I’m treated at a teaching hospital and spend most of my appointments with doctors in training*. But at my last appointment I did.

The doctor in training that I saw seriously lacked patient communication skills. She did all of the things that people with diabetes hate. She picked out a particularly high number on my log and asked what happened. I explained to her that I had an infusion site failure, I took the proper steps to fix it and pointed out where my number stabilized (in reasonably short order). She practically disregarded my explanation and fixated on that number and how to fix it for that time of day until I stopped her and said that I did everything right to fix it and that one number didn’t represent my general diabetes status during the afternoons. Then she said, three different times, “Your A1c went up.”

“Your A1c went up.” “Your A1c is up by .2.” Yes, yes I realize that my A1c increased by .2. It’s 6.1 from a 5.9, please move on. That’s only an average glucose increase from 123 to 128. And the goal on my chart is under 7% and my personal goal is under 6.5% so I think I’m doing ok. Clearly, my doctor in training had no idea what it’s like to live with diabetes. She asked about complications (I have none), she asked about any other issues that I was having and I explained my frustration with massive after lunch spikes, which she couldn’t find on my log to be a problem and said, “We’re okay with the 160s after you eat.” That’s when I said, “but I’m not.”

I see these doctors in training for chart updates and basic reviews of my logs since my last appointment, then I see my endo and they go quiet. Hopefully she learned something when Dr. O was unfazed by my A1c jump and was attentive to my after lunch frustration (that was when she switched me to Apidra).

The two positive things that this doctor in training did were to ask me about my pump since she wasn’t familiar with OmniPod and to talk about my kidney function improvement. She answered my questions about what I could do to continue reducing my nephrology risk (continue keeping my blood sugar in range and keep doing what I’m doing with my blood pressure).

This appointment was awhile ago, and I’ve been thinking about it off and on and been bothered by the communication/customer patient service aspect of it. I know that I’m not alone in feeling frustrated when healthcare professionals don’t acknowledge the day-to-day life that affects diabetes and that things happen beyond our control. The logs that they chose to look at were all of my test results from painting and moving into our new house, a situation that is not my regular and will throw my numbers into strange patterns. Situations that need prepared for and addressed, but not treated the same way as my typical routine.

How the DOC fits in Read the rest of this entry

Me and My Shadow

I have a shadow and it goes where ever I go.

The September DSMA Blog Carnival topic is about diabetes gear.  “Diabetes can come with a lot of baggage . . . not only emotionally but physically.  People with any type of diabetes usually have some extra stuff to carry around.”

I’ve talked about this before a few times (here, here, here and here ). I have a whole different view of make up bags than typical females. My test stuff, glucose tabs and insulin vial travel around in this little bag with me.

If I’m in the kitchen, it’s in the kitchen. If I’m at my desk, it’s on my desk. If I’m sleeping, it’s on my night stand. It’s like a little shadow.

Whether you have diabetes or not, you probably carry something around with you all the time like your own little shadow. What do you have with you everywhere you go?

This post is my September 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/september-dsma-blog-carnival-2/

Diabetes is expensive!

Diabetes can sure be expensive. Insurance can help take away some of the financial burden, but sometimes the things we want, or even need, are not covered by insurance. With that in mind, the DSMA Blog Carnival topic is:

I wish my insurance company paid for _________because ______________.

Health insurance is a valuable benefit to have and I can’t imagine how we’d pay for my dumb diabetes if we didn’t have it! For the most part, our insurance covers the needs and some of the wants.

Liquid gold

As shallow as it may sound, I wish my insurance company paid for all of my insulin because even though they cover some, it’s still crazy expensive and I get heartburn when I see the units left in my OmniPod that I have to throw out on pod change day.

Read the rest of this entry