Moving forward with self-care

I got to see Dr. M. yesterday and the appointment went way better than expected.

In the past, Dr. M. has been sub-par. I switched to her when my time with my traveling peds endo expired (aka when I turned 17) because of numerous praises from some of her diabetes patients in my church. I expected miracles. I got four years of A1cs in the 8 and 9 percents.

In retrospect, I know this was my own doing. Diabetes, I have learned, is a disease we have to handle ourselves and the doctor is merely there to guide us. But I must say, after my last few visits, I have been left questioning my choice of doctors and thinking about endo-shopping.

Dr. M redeemed herself on Wednesday. After reading this article at Diabetes Mine, I am certain it’s because she was much happier that I arrived 1. with a weeks worth of blood sugar and insulin dose logs, 2. with ideas on how to improve my self-care (pump and sensor) and 3. educated on which pump and sensor I wanted to try, as well as what to expect and not expect from these devices. Never before have I arrived so ready for an appointment. Turns out she’s a good doctor when I’m a good patient.

The appointment started out with a disappointment. When the medical assistant gal weighed me, I weighed almost the exact same as I did five months ago. What a bummer. I’d been trying really hard to eat better. Oh, well. Throwing in exercise and trying again in 4 months. Next was vitals. At my urgent care appointment a few weeks ago, my BP was 140/102. Now as someone with a family history of high blood pressure, this concerned me. The nurse at UC assured me it was probably just from being sick and perhaps from some of the OTC meds I had been taking. She was right. BP was normal at the endo’s.

At any rate, the rest of the visit went smoothly. Even though my appointment was at 12:15 and she didn’t show up in my exam room until 12:50, it didn’t feel like I had been waiting that long. Even though I was fighting BG’s in the 200’s and starving because I still hadn’t eaten (bad sarah), I remained positive and didn’t freak out. She set me up with the Certified Diabetes Educator in her office and seemed excited to get me on a pump.

In the past, I have asked about pumping and was either shot down or met with a less than excited “ho hum here’s the cde’s number, call her.” Never before did she write on my check out sheet for the secretary to actually SCHEDULE me an appointment upon my exit from the office. I knew I wasn’t ready before. If I was, I would have been more pro-active. Dr. M knew I wasn’t too. But now we are both ready. 13 days til the appointment. Anxiety!

Being a good diabetes patient has paid off. My body feels a lot better when my a1c is in the 7’s than it did when it was in the 8’s and 9’s. M assured me that I didn’t need a 5.5 a1c to get pregnant (phew), a goal I have for the next 5-8 years. Below six, she said. My fears are relieved. That’s not going to keep me from hitting my goal of 6.3 (a goal she said was probably too low, but we’ll see).

Great job! You were prepared and it sounds like it paid off! Good for you. Don’t be scared about pumping. Read all the info you can get your hands on and have an idea of what you think is best for you before you meet the CDE. Only you know what will work best for your needs and your lifstyle. BTW. it kills me that more CDE’s are not diabetics. It seems like that should be some sort of requirement. I don’t know…it just seems weird to me.

Sounds like you are getting on top of things and that is the most important thing. Knowledge is power. As long as we keep getting the education we need and not rely solely on our Dr.s I think in the end it is better for us.

Best wishes heading your way!!

~Jill

Great job,Sarah. My experience is that my doctors give excellent service when I come to the appts. with data, questions, suggestions about treatment, and a positive attitude. I have had wonderful experiences with most of my doctors in the 41 years I have had diabetes, and particularly in the last 15 or so, when I really started to think about what I had to do to help me. I agree with Jill, Knowledge IS power. Most endos WANT and are DELIGHTED to have patients who are willing to help themselves by arming themselves with knowledge and a willingness to change and adapt by learning about their own diabetes. You are doing so well…Congrats!!

God Bless
Brunetta