In my opinion, having a good rapport with your endocrinologist is vital to living a fulfilled and happy life with diabetes. Over the past 33 years, I’ve had three, maybe four folks who guided me on my T1D journey. As a creature of habit, change is hard so when I was contacted by my current endocrinologist’s office and informed he was ill and no longer seeing patients, I braced myself. I was sad he was not doing well and a bit trepidatious about having to cultivate a new relationship from scratch.
The dreaded day had finally arrived and it was time to make new friends. It was comforting to recognize a few familiar faces when I entered the office. I was quickly ushered into the exam room where they did the routine checkup. I sweet talked them into letting me prick my own finger for the A1c test.
My new endocrinologist entered the room an kindly introduced herself. Here is the first series of questions she had for me:
ENDO: Do you have diabetes?
ME: Yes, type 1. Did you look at my chart?
ENDO: When was the last time you were in DKA?
ENDO: When was your last hypo?
ME: A few nights ago.
ENDO: What time? Does this happen often? What was your BG?
ME: It was around 3:30am. It doesn’t happen too often, it’s just part of the T1D life. My BG was 34.
ENDO: Wow, that is really low. Did you need assistance correcting the hypo?
ME: No, I got out of bed, ate a few glucose tabs and drank a little Gatorade.
ENDO: Why do you think you went so low?
ME: I have no idea. Hormones, I miscalculated my carbs at dinner, the glass of wine I had after dinner, I sleep walked and burned a few unexpected calories. These things happen. I do my best to stay in range because I want to feel good.
It was hands down one of the weirdest conversations I’ve had to date in the endo. office. The questions continued and I felt myself having a defensive tone. Who does she think she is? I regrouped and did my best not to be a total asshole.
As the appointment wrapped up, she asked if I rotated my injection sites. I laughed and told her I had just published an article, Divots And Dents – Diabetes Impact On My Ego
, about that very subject. Just when I thought the visit couldn’t get any worse – she asked me to pull down my pants. WTF?
I obliged and slowly pulled down my skinny jeans, which is no easy task and definitely not one you want others to witness. She said she wanted to be sure I didn’t have any lesions…
Later that evening I spoke to Ryan about the my visit. I used more curse words than usual so he really had to dig deep to help talk me from the ledge. He brought up valid points which helped me take my attitude down a notch. It was clear the doctor was nervous, she had big shoes to fill when she took over this successful practice and she came from a research background. She was doing the best she could.
I applaud her patience and willingness to deal with me and my diabetes management, but I think I need to move on. I require a different level of attention – a more personal one. I want to chat about the real life and not be COMPLETELY judged by numbers, which might be her only way to practice. I wish her the best, but it’s back to the drawing board.