November 7, 2012

Insulin Is Not A Cure - Dr. Chase

Dr. Chase has been my diabetes doctor ever since I was diagnosed at the age of two. He has seen me almost every three months from the ages 2 to 18. He has seen me grow up and grow into the woman I am now. I have so, so much to thank him for. I am incredibly blessed to have had him for a doctor growing up. This entire blog series I am writing is entirely dedicated to him and all he has done for me, and for the world of diabetes.

Dr. Chase,
I cannot even begin to express what you have done for me in my life ever since I was a little two-year old, walking the halls with my parents in the Barbara Davis Center, unsure of what was really going on. I sat there, unaware of what was happening to my body, depending on everyone else to take care of me. I grew up fast, learning how to take care of myself, learning how to give myself shots, learning how to accept the fact I had this disease. I remember looking forward to each three month visit because I would get to see you! I also remember the screaming and crying when I was told I had to have my blood drawn that day. Thank you for telling me I was a big girl, and even adults had to get the numbing cream on their arms and that I wasn't the only one. I didn't feel like such a coward. I'd also like you to know that I am finally over my fear of needles! I wanted to show you how I'd been doing and make you see that I was trying my best. It didn't matter to me that I didn't really know the technicalities, I knew you had them in mind.

I loved seeing that smile and getting a hug from you when I came in every three months.  I always remember during my physical exams, you would listen to my heartbeat with those sure, steady hands, and exclaim how healthy my heart-rate was..."because of all that swimming!" :) You were so supportive of me with all of that and worked with me to deal with the hard issues that it dealt to my diabetes. I also remember you letting me listen to my own heartbeat with your stethoscope for a little while, after you were finished, to hear the evidence that I really did have a healthy heart-rate! I loved that feeling, listening to my own, live, vital pulse that meant I was still going. I remember you explaining everything to me, even when you checked my reflexes with your reflex hammer. You let me hold it, feel the weight of it, and feel the vibration when it hit its desired target. You always encouraged me with the smallest things and endured my tears in the examination room when my A1C level was high...again.

You carried my frustrations as well as your own in taking care of me. I know I could be difficult at times, especially in those last few years. In one of the last few appointments, I distinctly remember you saying, "Well, I must be a bad doctor, or you're not taking care of yourself, because your kidneys aren't as happy as they used to be, Morgan." I remember sitting there and immediately wanting to burst out crying. Not because I was feeling sorry for myself, but because you said that there was a possibility of you being a bad doctor. That is the farthest thing from the truth. I was mortified that I had brought that thought upon you and I would have done anything to fix that. That is a pivotal moment because at that very second, I took ownership of my apathy. I had been trying to avoid it, blaming it on everything else. You will understand, you know that it's hard being a diabetic all those years, and I was dealing with a strong type of apathy about it. But, the thing I know, is that you were a huge contributor in helping me become an independent type 1 diabetic. You made me take responsibility for the things I was doing to myself and my actions that were costing me my health. Those scary, stressful times, you were there, you were watching out for me. I remember during my parents' divorce, you made my mom go out of the room and you asked me, only me, how I was doing and how I was feeling about everything. You wanted to hear from me, you wanted to make sure I was okay without my mom sitting right there. You've seen all of my downs, in life and through my diabetic journey, you know what kind of girl I am, and you knew how to encourage me to never let diabetes inhibit me.

You have so much dedication to your profession and I thank God that you were put into my life. You certainly are one of the ones who inspired me to become a part of the medical profession. You have given me so many chances, and have trusted in me to know what to do, but you have always been there along the way. It was a constant reminder for me, asking myself, what would Dr. Chase say if I ate that? What would he have me do? If I do this, how am I going to explain that in three months when I see him next? It helped me make better decisions. I remember during one visit, I was feeling low during our appointment. You left and came back with a juice box, graham crackers, and peanut butter for me to eat. The perfect balanced snack for a low blood sugar. Your warm countenance and care towards me makes and has made my life so much easier. It is people like you that have helped me through my journey in combating type 1 diabetes. When I first came to the Barbara Davis Center at age two, I was provided with a Pink Panther stuffed animal. I still have it and I will never give that away because it reminds me of you. You wrote those Pink Panther books, educating the public about Type 1 Diabetes, and wanting people to help find a cure. This blog series is dedicated to you. You encouraged me to participate in diabetes studies, telling me about the latest technology that was being tested, and I knew this was important to you. I remember the glucowatch study, and the twin study that Madison and I were a part of. You were the one who finally convinced me to get my insulin pump. I was so nervous about getting one because it was such a new concept, but you gave me time and gradually took away my fear of it. Thank you, for that. I know God had His hand in my life when I walked into the Barbara Davis Center, like He does now, because He gave me you as a doctor. God knew what I was going to need down the road. The only thing I can think to say is thank you, for investing your time, effort, and intensive care in me. I remember everything, and will always remember. I love you like a father, and I can't help but tear up as I end this letter. You've done great things and still are doing great things. Thank you for your lasting impact on my life. You are the greatest.



"...'For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.' Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and giv eyou something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?' The King will reply, 'Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.'"
-Matthew 25:35-40

1 comment:

  1. Morgan,
    This is beautiful.

    I love you!


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