July 8, 2014

People Are Important

So, last week, I had an appointment with a new endocrinologist. I haven't really had one since I've moved to Texas, and it was time to get one. To preface this, I always dread my endocrinology appointments. I have to mentally prepare myself to receive many things: disapproving looks, difficult questions, judgment, etc. I don't complain much about my diabetes, it is just a part of my daily life, but these appointments usually bring up unpleasant realities that I normally try and forget. These appointments were not always like that. My doctor, back home in Colorado, truly got to know me as a person and was adamant about not letting type 1 diabetes rule my life. I didn't realize how much he truly cared about me, the patient, not my levels. He cared about my levels, but he also cared about the cause of them being high or low. My A1c's have been pretty high the last few years. The higher those go, the more potential damage is being done to my body. Last year my A1c was a 9.0%, considerably better than it had been the last few years. You can imagine my relief, right? I was finally going in the correct direction. That leads me to last week...

Well, my appointment happened last week and when this new doctor asked me what my last A1c was, he was shocked. He proceeded to ask me why I hadn't been taking better care of myself. He reminded me that I should know that is not a good A1c, I was in nursing school. He didn't ask me my diabetic history, he didn't ask me if there was a reason it had been higher, he didn't ask me what it was like to deal with type 1 diabetes every single day. He only saw that my A1c of 9.0% was high. I wouldn't be surprised if he labeled me as "noncompliant" in my medical record. He proceeded to tell me his plan of action while I sat there trying not to cry in front of my new doctor after hearing that I was a failure. If he had given me a chance to explain I'd have told him that these last few years have been incredibly hard on me and my family and that I was sorry that my diabetes had possibly taken a backseat to all of the stress and pressure. I've had diabetes for 19 years, I can't have it perfect every time. But, my doctor's plan of action? Me testing my blood sugar 7 times a day, putting me on a sensor for 3 days next week (which is inserted with a needle and attaches to your skin), attending a class that I don't need about my pump, and stopping my life to take care of it all. And he didn't even ask me what I thought about it.

Out of all this, I just want to make the point that people are important. My doctor from back home always treated me as a person with a life, a person with the same stresses as everyone else but also dealing with a disease. This appointment made me feel small and insignificant as one never had before. He practically accused me of purposely not taking adequate care of myself. I'm sorry, but taking care of diabetes is much different than the things your read in medical textbooks. I would know. My point is that we need to treat people as people. That may sound like a simple thing, but for me in that doctor's office, I did not feel like a person. I felt labeled; I felt like a diabetic who couldn't do anything right. I'm sure he means well and that he is a good doctor, but please, treat me as a real person. This concept goes for anything in life. Before we sit there and pass judgment, or before we label somebody with a certain title, think about them as a person. What is their history? What has been going on in their life? Do they need somebody to talk to? Do they need a hug? Think about how you treat people. Think about the assumptions you make and think of the effect that those assumptions may have.

Lastly, I would like to ask you guys for prayer for all this going on. Frankly, it is very frustrating and difficult for me. I don't expect anyone to understand what it is like, and I certainly hope you never do. I would never wish that on anyone. For me it can't just go away. It's there whether I like it or not and I don't want to make a big deal out of it. Sometimes, though, it takes everything I have to not give up. This new treatment plan doesn't exactly bring me any joy. I need patience, willingness, and strength. And only that I can get from Christ because I feel as if I have run out of those for this situation. Thanks for reading and thank you for your prayers!

"Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others."
-Philippians 2:1-4

1 comment:

  1. Don't get down on yourself. You are doing what you can. Some doctors have a god complex. A9.0 is not bad! If you need to talk I'm here!



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