I’ve used the local dental school as my dental provider for many years. Things have taken an unexpected turn recently and I’m uncertain how to manage the relationship going forward.
I recently was assigned a new dental student to manage my care. I’m used to this situation as I know that there exits seasoned experience of faculty dentists who guide and watch over everything the students do.
The biggest downside for me is that procedures take two to three times longer than a private dentist. I put up with this as I pay out of pocket for 100% of my dental work and I the school needs people like me to educate their students.
Recently, the faculty member came in to talk with me about my diabetes and blood glucose control at a morning visit. He asked me if I had my breakfast and insulin yet. I responded that I don’t eat till later in the day, had not taken any meal dose yet, but my blood sugar was steady in the 90s and I showed my Dexcom display on my watch. It showed a flat 1-hour blood sugar line.
Unfortunately, this did not comfort the faculty person. Later in the appointment, my student warned that this nervous faculty person might be talking to me again about my blood sugar level. I was still flatlining in the low 90s and little to no IOB.
This faculty member had no depth of understanding about the effort I put into my glucose control. He didn’t know that I use a sophisticated automated insulin dosing system and that, unlike most diabetics, I was acutely tuned in to my blood sugar levels.
He apparently held fast to the advice that insulin using diabetics must eat on a regular schedule and take the requisite insulin. His knowledge and understanding was generations behind the times and he did not make any effort to understand the competence I exercised.
This all caught me by surprise. What’s the best way to handle this situation? I tried to inform him early by showing him the glucose display on my watch. To him I was just a patient that risked going hypo on his watch.
The professional ignorance of basic diabetes facts astounds me. The lack of respect towards some diabetics’ knowledge disturbs.
I think there needs to be a partnership between diabetics and medical professionals during procedures that require normal glycemia. I later found out that the school teaches its students that diabetics should be above 100 mg/dL to safely receive treatment. I’m assuming that 150-180 mg/dL would be comforting to them. Even though higher blood sugars promote dental infections and I never target those ranges. Not even in the short range.
I’m at a loss as to how I can bridge this knowledge chasm without implying that they are generations behind in their understanding current day insulin use to control glucose. I fear they see me as a doddering old guy not to be trusted. Is this the effect that my recent stroke has entailed?
By the way, my current 30-day numbers: 97 average, 86% time in range 65-120, less than 1% under 54, and a standard deviation of 19.