Since I was a new patient, I had to fill out all the standard new patient stuff including mother's maiden name (how is that medical info?!) and previous hospitilizations (including my DKA, only 2, I got severely dehydrated once when I was 3). They also had me fill out this survey of current health status. Allergies, current medications, and current illnesses. I sighed and circled "Diabetes" and thought about writing in "Type 1" in the space next to it.
I met the nurse, dressed in hot pink scrubs with a smile just as bold as her attire. "What brings you in today?" "My right knee. It hurts when I walk upstairs or cross my legs for a long time." "OK, we'll get that X-rayed then you'll meet the doctor." I was summoned by the X-ray tech who walked me back to the X-ray room. I shut down Constance temporarily so he could do the scan (note: I wasn't sure that I needed to do that, because I remember reading no MRIs and such. So I just thought better be on the safe side.) He scanned my right leg once laying on my back, and once on my side. Then, I walked back to my room and waited for the doctor.
She came in and greeted me, told me she didn't see anything on the scan but would wait to get the official word from the radiologist (who said she didn't find anything either, wasted visit). Then she started going over my chart. "Diabetes? What was your last A1c?" "6.5", I said. "Hmmm," she mummed. "That's good," she said looking down at the chart, then she looked up at me and said, "but it could be better."
Blood . . . boiling . . .
"Well, the ADA just wants me to keep it under 7.0. So I try to maintain that." She went on to the next item which I don't remember what it was because all I could hear and see was RED. All I could think about was how that number was followed my a "well done" from my endocrinologist last month. Now, I'm getting a "it could be better"?! Let's see, what else could I do other than:
- Test my blood glucose at least 6 times a day.
- Wear a CGM that alerts me when I go high/low.
- Count every single gram of carbohydrate that goes into my mouth.
- Try to get 30 minutes of activity in everyday after working 9-hour work days.
- Prepare less processed, less salty meals at home because heart disease and diabetes are BFFs.
This disease is so freakin' personal, that it's hard not to take comments like that personally. I'm a pretty patient gal until someone starts giving me a guilt trip on my diabetes. I already experience that everyday whenever I go over 200 mg/dL and wonder if I didn't bolus enough or go below 40 mg/dL in the middle of church and have to chomp raspberry glucose tabs putting my row into a pink fog from the dust. Guilt--it's the ultimate complication from diabetes.
I left the office feeling bummed out and furious at the same time. I couldn't believe that I was treated like a number, not a person. Then I felt silly for getting so worked up over a doctor just trying to do her job. But then I felt like I don't want to be someone's "job", I want to be a personal patient. If you want me to have a better A1c, how about a cure? Because at this point, that's the only way my number is going to get any lower.
By the way, my right knee still hurts.