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I had originally intended my blog, “RainieAndMe,” to explore my life and experiences with a Diabetic Alert Dog (DAD).   However, during Diabetes Blog Week, I will write about  my life and experiences as a diabetic.

Diabetic Blog Week: “Often our health care team only sees us for about 15 minutes several times a year, and they might not have a sense of what our lives are really like. Today, let’s pretend our medical team is reading our blogs. What do you wish they could see about your and/or your loved one’s daily life with diabetes?” ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Whenever I meet new endocrinologists or diabetic educators, I ask them ,”What made you decide to go into diabetology?”  Truthfully, I’m always hoping their decision was due to a personal experience; however, the answer is usually something like, “Well, it seems like diabetic control is all about math.  If you can just get the math right…  The worst experience I’ve had was meeting an endocrinologist in my town who believes she knows what it’s like to be diabetic because she wore a pump filled with normal saline for one whole week!  She is adamant that she knows what life is like and that insulin control is completely about math – and, therefore, should be completely predictable.  If your blood sugars are out of control, it is your fault!  And, I must admit, that the one time I saw her as a patient, I decided, was one time too many.

What I wish any health care practitioner in the field of diabetes could do is feel what diabetes is like – the mood swings, the fatigue, the food cravings, the frustrations that come along with not feeling good, and the fragility of living with unpredictable blood sugars.  How would they deal with the sense that, at times, they are trudging through each moment, as if walking through physical and psychological mud — decisions are hard, one’s balance is off, nothing seems easy because life is hard when the blood sugar is out of control .  I’d like them to live with the unknowing and the fears – questions like:  Am I going to be able to get home if I go on a long bike ride?, or, Is my blood sugar in a good range so I can confidently take this test?, Am I safe to drive?, or, Will my diabetic child be ok going on a field trip/ to a slumber-party/ or swimming or jumping on a trampoline?, or, Will I/my child/my friend or spouse wake up in the morning?

I think just one week of these experiences would awaken compassion and give our health care providers true insight into our lives.

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Comments on: "Diabetes Blog Week: What Would You LIke Your Endocrinologist to Know?" (10)

  1. Oh my goodness, imagine how easy we would have it if diabetes was simply a math equation!! It baffles me that an endocrinologist could ever think that there isn’t so much more to it.

  2. I have a husband and a daughter with diabetes. (LADA, and type1, respectively). I would never suggest it’s simply a matter of math! Although my 6 year old girl enjoys math, so it’s sometimes fun for her to do the calculations. I wore an Omnipod full of saline for three days so I could experience the comfort (or discomfort) of wearing it, but I’d certainly don’t imagine that I now know just what it feels like to have diabetes. I wish I could, even if just for a short time. I feel a sense of loss regarding my daughter now, because that’s a part of her I’ll never be able to relate to.

    • Dear Julie,
      I can imagine your frustration and, at times, sense of isolation. Please remember that your love and support is what your family truly needs. Please let your sense of loss be filled with her love.

  3. “It’s all about math” is about as ridiculous as “It’s all about shots”. Shots are easy. In comparison to the rest of it, math is easy too (really!). Figuring out just WHAT numbers to add, subtract, multiply, and divide is hard — and dealing with the aftermath of getting the numbers wrong (or getting the math wrong) is even harder.

  4. I love that question you pose to your new endos-what made you go into this field. I need to be more proactive in asking questions when seeing a new endo to see if they fit my needs because I have had some bad ones in the past. I’ll def use this question in the future. And ditto on all the other comments-if it was just about math I would have great control. I am an accountant but I am constantly struggling to have good control with my diabetes. If only it were that easy!

    • Hi Kelley, Thanks for your comment. I think Scott’s comment says it all, “Figuring out just WHAT numbers to add, subtract, multiply, and divide is hard — and dealing with the aftermath of getting the numbers wrong (or getting the math wrong) is even harder.” Then, we (anyone with diabetes, or anyone who is effected by it in their lives) gets to add the emotional factors…

  5. Very well put! They do need to try and step into our shoes for a change. I’ve asked the same question,”why did you decide to do this”?, of my new dietitian and CDE. Dietitian said because she wanted to really be helping people, my CDE is actually T1! Not that I would ever wish this on anyone, but finally finding someone on my health care team that gets it is amazing!

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