Putting one's finger on a T2 Generation Gap

I’m T2. Mom’s T2. The Other Half is T2. My former office mate is T2. My former supervisor is T2.

I test regularly, if not always religiously. The Other Half’s insurance sent him a meter and told him to test years ago, when he was still “borderline” (after a “you’re safe” gap, he still does). My former office mate tests. My former supervisor does not. My mother has never been offered (other than by me) the opportunity to test, and does not test.

Other than our relative ages (office mate and supervisor are both 10-15 years older than me) and dates of diagnosis (Mom was diagnosed in the mid 1990’s; office mate was diagnosed in the late 1990’s; Other Half was diagnosed “borderline” around 2001 and T2 in 2007; I was diagnosed in 2002 – I don’t know when the supervisor was diagnosed), there’s no discernable difference between us.

We all are, or have been, on oral meds.

We all have been given dietary advice. My office mate – who tests, and my supervisor – who doesn’t – live in two different states, but both were given similar dietary advice.

So, what makes some of us willing to test, and test agressively, while others are content to wait for a quarterly or semiannual “attaboy” from their doctors?

The “shooting up old school” entry on Kerri’s blog today brings to mind a T2 “generation gap”.

Which side of the gap we lie determines whether we test aggressively, or not at all; whether or not we know what “CDE” stands for; whether we eat fruits, or run in fear any time someone mentions the word “banana”. It is a gap both of age, and of diagnosis date. It is a gap of physician aggressiveness, and of insurance companies’ willingness to look at patients’ long-term health. It is a gap of financial means, and of personal interest.

Never mind that we’re all T2s.

Welcome to the 2ilight Zone.

Great observation!

Both my parents worked for their entire careers in hospitals filling professional roles. My dad had a Ph.D.

So it used to astound me that neither of them ever questioned what a doctor told them, and that they were often unable to even give a clear description of what diagnosis they’d been giving. If the doctor said take the green pill, they took it. End of medical story.

If I’d tell them that there was some possibility that the green pill might be dangerous for people in their 70s, they’d look at me like I had two heads. Who was I to question what a Doctor had prescribed.

Needless to say, us Boomers don’t see things that way. And for those of us with diabetes, it is a very good thing we don’t, given how poorly the average family doctor understands diabetes,how few of them have kept up with the research, and how strongly their prescribing habits are influenced by perky, ex-cheerleader drug company reps.

I’m not sure it’s a “Boomer” thing. The former supervisor is, technically, a Boomer. He is in no way a technophobe (Extra class Amateur Radio license, controls his radios via the Internet, etc.)!

The Other Half’s father was told he was “pre-diabetic” a couple of years ago, given a monitor, and told to test upon awakening and before bedtime. He is on oral meds, but doesn’t do anything with his readings other than bringing the logs to the doctor’s office. He is in his 80’s. His testing supplies are covered either by Medicare or by the VA, in Virginia. Mom has Medicare in New York, and the co-pays on testing supplies (if they are not fully covered) would be an issue for her.

Questioning one’s doctors may more a question of culture or of upbringing than of age. My dad has always had ongoing dialogs with his PCPs and his ENT. I’m fairly certain his mother also had ongoing dialogs with her doctors. My sister has had enough bad reactions to medications that she and her PCP have, by necessity, an open and ongoing dialog. (BTW, she and Mom have the same PCP.) My mom’s parents had one of the same PCPs that my dad had, but I don’t remember them questioning the doctor’s “authority” (other than, perhaps, Grandpa refusing to give up his cigarette habit).

Go figure.

But the more I hear from members of this group and others, and the more I have seen in RL, the more I agree with your assessment of the average doctor’s understanding of diabetes.