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.