My New Endo Experience

Remember, if you're up for more awesome diabetes and dance stuff check out my full blog at A Diabetic Ballerina

So this week I had my 6 month check up at my endocrinologist. I wasn't clicking with my old endo so after I met Dr. V at a JDRF function I knew I had to switch. He was nice enough to give an appointment pretty quickly and from our conversations he seemed like a nice, knowledgable doctor. I decided to try him out and if he didn't work for me then I would keep searching for physician perfection.

But I was still nervous.

After shadowing so many doctors it felt weird to be a patient again but I knew my diabetes needed a tune up. I parked my jeep in the massive parking deck and wandered around until I found an elevated walkway leading to the Kirklin Clinic. I was lead into what looked like an airport. I walked by a patient library, a huge pharmacy even a Starbucks. Each level housed different specialties. I must have looked lost and scared because another patient took me under her wing and showed me the way around.

You have to remember that I'm from Canada and when you say the word "Clinic" I think of a small, quaint office with 10 chairs, not a high class hospital with a Starbucks! Anyways, I was checked in by a super nice receptionist (not many are nice!) and after spending 20 minutes trying, and not succeeding to study, I was taken back by a very nice nurse. I tried my best to not panic but I always do and my blood pressure shot through the roof. I told the nurse that I check my blood pressure constantly at the pharmacy and even took photos to prove it. She just laughed and said that I had "White Coat" syndrome. Yes, yes I do! Like a lightening fast ninja she took my blood sugar (104) and A1C. With a cotton ball in hand I was ready to go.

So far so good I quickly got shuttled back to a nice little examination room. The nurse told me to sit on the table and wait for Dr. V. After seeing so many patients choose to sit in the chairs and not on the table I decided that I too, was going to sit in the chairs. I was nervous already, I didn't want to be stuck up on a pedestal too. I sat down, pulled out 3 months of records that I had printed off the night before and bounced my leg to pass the time.

Dr. V came in quickly and immediately I calmed right down. I shared my story of diabetes up until now and he listened carefully and let me talk. I just LOVE it when doctors let you talk! He agreed that the Omnipod wasn't a good fit for me (something my other doctor and I fought about) and even told me that other elite athletes had the same issues as I did. Hah! I'm not crazy! My A1C was ridiculously low. So low in fact that I seriously suspect that the little A1C machine was inaccurate. It was 4.2. How am I still alive you ask? I have no idea. Dr. V looked at the huge amount of data I printed out and told me that he was fine with a 4.2 because I don't actually go low all that often, but told me a number like this probably won't ever happen again. I'm ok with that. Normally I sit at 5.4 or so.

So we discussed tweaking my basal rates, poked my scarred up dancer feet, and checked my back fat for any pump bumps. All good to go and super healthy. He was worried about my thyroid since I hold onto a lot of water weight and have super irregular periods (too much info? Whatever!) Also he wanted to test me for celiac and a whole other host of hormone, autoimmune and whatever he could think of problems. I'm going in on Friday to donate half my body in blood and hopefully everything is peachy keen and I'm good to go for another 6 months.

So, I do believe I have reached physician perfection. Luckily Dr. V is young so I'm guaranteed to have a great doctor for a while. He listens, doesn't yack about other patients or the weather and wants to negotiate with me on treatment options. He treats me like an equal. Plus it's also cool to know that he's at the same JDRF research meetings as I am so we can discuss fun cutting edge stuff. Like the Varapmill study that I posted about a few weeks ago.

Well it's the 4th of July and I have sufficiently cooled down after my run. It's time to hit the pool!

-Exit Stage Left

Hi Cathrine,

It isn't everyone who has a great experience with a new doctor. I remember being first assigned to an endo years ago when i was first diagnosed He was highly recommended. When I got to the appointment, I was finger poked by a nail gun, and taken to his exam room where the wall was covered with plaques and awards, I noticed several different names. The guy could barely speak any English. took a look at my charts and tests and give me a pre-written sheet that explained what I needed to do. He told me I had to follow that instruction sheet to the letter. I could go on... but I don't want to steel your thunder.

You had a wonderful experience. Appointments such as this one make it much easier to be a diabetic. Your doctor wants your blood, not because he is a vampire, but because he wants to be sure he understands your diabetic needs. I like the sound of this blog. Experiences, such as yours, reassure me. You are doing just fine.

Be well.

Quiet back stage, please!

Brian Wittman

It sounds like you have found a keeper of a doctor. We all too often hear about doctors with terrible bedside manners. It is good to hear about one who listens.

An A1c of 4.2 does seem way too low. An abnormally low A1c can occur with anemia. If do hope you are able to track things down.