Thursday, March 29, 2007

Meeting with the vampire

I left work early yesterday to go get my blood work done in preparation with my meeting with my endo on Friday. I always like going a few days early so that at the appointment we can talk about real numbers, rather than what it was last time I was there. I also know that I won’t pay attention to the conversation and will be a nervous wreck if I wait until the end of my appointment – I hate getting blood drawn. Not to mention that it generally takes weeks to get the results. Before the HIPPA laws, I would get my A1c done, then call to get the results before my appointment, so that if I wanted to kick or scream or cry about the results it would not be in front of the doctor.

I got to the clinic and checked in with the lab. They were going to look up my record and call me in later. About 10 minutes later I was told that I didn’t have any lab orders in my account and “sorry.” Sorry? I drove 45 minutes to get here, paid an arm and a leg for parking and all you have is sorry? So I trotted right over to the area where my dr usually is and asked for the doctor on call (actually I know that they are called the “captain of the day” so I used that term much to the confusion of the nurse). The ‘Captain” happily ordered the labs that I rattled off. Amazed that I knew exactly what I needed.

I went back to the lab. Moved the chair so it would recline, told the woman that I do better with a butterfly needle, and started to have my same old chat about nothing, staring at the curtain divider in front of me, hoping that I would not pass out. Yes, 25 years of having diabetes and my general odds of passing out when having blood drawn is about 50/50. I did fine this time although there were a few seconds there I was unsure. Some deep breathing and mindless chatter helped me stay in the world of the living.

As I left to go meet a girlfriend for drinks (may as well take advantage of being in the city!) I started to think about the interaction. I wonder if there are patients that would have accepted “sorry” as an answer and gone home. Sadly, I think that there probably are. People who go with what the doctor says and don’t feel empowered enough to find out what they really need to know. When the doctor rattles off a suggested new prescription or lifestyle change, I worry about the number of people who “yes, sir” the doctor – all the while saying ‘I could never do that.’ I wonder if it’s a lack of education on what exactly they should be looking for (Ac1, Cholesterol, Lipids etc) Or if it’s a feeling of helplessness or apathy that they just don’t have the energy to care. Feeling beaten down by this disease which we all know, effects every part of your life.

I went to my lady parts doctor recently, and of course, my pregnancy plans were a hot topic of conversations. She said something that really stuck with me. She told me how most of her Type 1’s do great with pregnancy because they “respect the disease” and know how to work with it. I really liked that thought. Respecting your diabetes for the powerful force that it is, yet also having enough respect for yourself that you learn how to control it and manage day to day.

I respect my diabetes as a function of who I am. Just as any mother would fight to get the right teacher or support for their child, I am happy to speak up and fight for my health and diabetes. Because if I don’t, who will?


Blogger Lyrehca said...

Amen, Sister!

For what it's worth, my endo says her type 1 diabetic patients are among her most amazing, because they really do everything they can to maintain great bloods and do what they need. I'm sure you'll be the same.

12:05 PM  
Blogger MileMasterSarah said...

I agree with a lot of this. And it isn't just in health care, but in any situation where people deal with people who are experts, but don't have the same access to information in a format that is understandable to them.

1:28 PM  
Blogger Maura said...

I think that is great that you get your blood work ahead of time. I wonder why doctors don't suggest this. At BI, you can call the day after they take your A1C and they will give it to you. I was told that Joslin was getting a machine that could tell you within minutes.
I guess they don't have it yet.

9:23 AM  
Blogger bleeeeeeeeeeeeeee said...

The young man seemed very uncomfortable, and he tried to look his apologies to the pretty daughter, but she could not see him now, not even if her eyes ativan had been all corners.. Can't you give us something like ' His Wife's Deceased Sister '? This was merely Stockton's turning to account his own somewhat similar experience with clonidine the editors after his story, The Lady or the Tiger ? (November, 1882, Century ) appeared.. If the patient can be induced to abandon this self-criticism and to pursue the trains of thought which are yielded by concentrating the attention, most significant matter will be obtained, matter oxycodone which will be presently seen to be clearly linked to the morbid idea in question.. The beast he bestrode responded with a rapid whisking of its tail and a great show of effort, as it ambled off down the sandy road, the rider's long legs seeming now tylenol and then to touch the ground.. You've got to convince that jury yourself. restoril..

4:51 AM  

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