The first time I ever knew something was really wrong with me that was just plain old diabetes. I was sitting in my regular GP’s office. I had been “diabetic” T2 supposedly for a couple of years. I took what they told me at that time pretty serious and did as advised! At that time I was getting A1c’s every 6 months or so, was on oral meds, and kept a fairly detailed log of what I was eating, what I was doing, and my numbers. My doctor at that time had never ONCE looked at them even though I had them with me. That particular day when she came in she started yelling at me that she “couldn’t believe that I could not care about my health and would let things get this bad…she informed me that my A1C was 13.9! “ (That means my average BG readings were around 350…normal is 80 to 120) . She ranted and raved at me for a bit and would not let me talk. Finally I remember crossing my arms, leaning back in my chair and glaring at her! She finally ask “WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO SAY FOR YOURSELF?” I shut my log book that showed I had been eating less than 20 carbs a meal and less than 40 carbs most days, it showed the numbers 2 hours after ANY carb to be extremely high. It showed that exercise did nothing! It showed all of my efforts...it showed my weight had dropped 40lbs in about 5 months even though I really hadn’t tried. I did try to verbally explain what was in my log sitting in my lap when she looked at me and said “YOU ARE LYING! You are not doing your part!” At that point I shut up, dropped my head and said “would you please give me a referral to a diabetes clinic?” She replied, “Absolutely….it is OBVIOUS you will not take MY ADVICE” as she slide a business card across the table! I took the card, stood up and unleashed some of the my feelings….about “How UNHELPFUL she truly was, and that if she had allowed me to show her what I had been doing that she would see how wrong she was, that SOMETHING else was going on. I had a 2 inch BINDER full of daily log sheets for the last year. She listened and then glared at me and said….”well you made them up because no diabetic has an A1C that high who tries at all” I turned and left rather quickly afraid if it went any further I would really lose my temper! I went home and bawled. I knew something was wrong but I didn’t know how to fix it! I was ANGRY that what ever “it” was that was wrong I could do nothing about! The card she had given me laid on my TV stand for a few months finally I found the courage to call and try the medical field again!
I contacted the Cottonwood Endocrine Center and set up an appointment with a CDE/nutrionist. The day of the appointment I once again took my binder along just in case anyone wanted to see it. I walked in and was fairly prompted to come to the back! This lady was warm and friendly. She was genuine in her efforts to help. However, because of my past experience I told her I had 2 questions. She replied “ SURE!!!” I said’ “Do you like dogs or cats?” She promptly replied “DOGS!!! Why?” Ummm…I replied, “ All of the people in the medical field that I like and get along with like dogs! I am adding this as a screening process”. She laughed! “What is your second question?” “Umm…. Well can I eat venison?” “Absolutely”, she quickly replied. “Has someone told you that you couldn’t?” I just grinned and said “OK now we can talk”. We spent the next hour and half going over all of my records and at this CDE prodding I reluctantly made an appointment with a doctor that specializes in diabetes. In a short time it was discovered that I carry the T1 antibodies and that I was in the honeymoon phase of my pancreas petering out!
Many things have happened since that day! While it was “bad” life changing news I actually breathed a sigh of relief of knowing that what was wrong with me was fixable with the right treatment. I learned that I had done nothing wrong to bring on the diabetes. It had been coming on and the signs were there for a very long time! My pancreas was defective and NOTHING I ate or didn’t eat was going to change it! No amount of exercise was going to fix it. Yes paying attention to those things would help me better “manage” it …it was never going away.
There is a first time for everything…but that first resulted in me truly “taking charge of my care”. It has helped me work with medical professional to become a part of “My team”! I am not on their team…they are on mine! They work for me! A doctor will not bully me again! If I don’t understand, I am going to keep on looking for someone who can explain it to me! We all deserve at least that!