Saw my endocrinologist yesterday for the first time in at least 5 months. Our visits have suddenly taken on a new cadence since he’s learned about my D-writing and my excursions into the mysterious world of professional diabetes care. He now talks to me like… well, if not a peer, then at least an accomplished observer worthy of his utmost qualified attention. (He even asked if I could fix him up with some contacts at diabetes technology companies looking for clinical study sites!) Ah, how the world turns… chalk one up for me.
Unfortunately, I thought, I’m still the one going home with all the boobie prizes: lab slips for urine test (MA screening — at least not the 24/hour kind), and blood tests for hA1C, hypothyroid, lipid panel, etc., etc. (while the good Dr. continues to eat anything he likes at any time, injection and pump-free). Sigh.
After we’d chatted at length about all the new D-technology of interest, we actually spent a few minutes on me: fine, yes, … well, a pain in the ass, of course. And those early-morning lows I had, and those afternoon highs, yes, but pretty good all the same… Pen poised, the doctor begins his notes in my file, narrating aloud as he writes: “T1 diabetic in fair control…” (Fair?! Last time you wrote “good,” you #%$*^!) “… thyroid leveled” (meaning the pills are working) “… recommend pump therapy” (yes, I know, I know!) “… recommend Symlin” (WtF?! Here I interrupt.)
“Why would I need to go on Symlin?,” I ask, a little too loud.
“Well, you don’t need to. But it would help even things out — those postprandial highs. Of course it would mean two more injections a day, so I understand if…”
“You do now?! How kind!! Those highs aren’t that high, and I’m really quite good at corrections now, so what’s the point?” (clearly I’ve lost my accomplished observer cool)
“Just a recommendation. I’m writing it here…”
“Well, hell, if it’s in black-and-white, then I guess I can’t sue you for neglect, now can I?”
So we’ve crossed over from the place where my doc is encouraging about my good control to the place where he keeps pushing ever-more-aggressive treatments… That’s what I get for being “cutting edge,” I suppose. Now you Symlin fans may ream me on this one, but I am doing DARN WELL if I do say so myself, and I can’t help thinking that some eager-beaver doctor who’s hot for new clinical trials (and does not live with this disease himself) would sure like to have a patient like me go on Symlin just to record the details of my case in his latest journal article. Forget it, bud!
Whatever. I’m out of there. But the second half of my Medical Day doesn’t go so well either. Let me just say for the record that I am the world’s worst human being for having blood drawn. Within 15 feet of the lab “Enter” sign, my veins begin to contract in anticipation. The freakin’ freckled and beaming lab tech jabs me hard in BOTH ARMS without being able to draw one drop of blood. And oooh, sorry, we’re out of orange juice…
I have gone white and am barely able to speak, so they resort to Plan B: lay me on the cot in the private room and call in their Very Best Needle Expert — who I manage to shout at that he better darn well not tell me any details!! And do not use the world “vein”! I am Dr. Jekyll until this amazing expert manages to draw the blood before I can release my next verbal abuse. Why does this get harder every time I do it? And why are most lab techs so rough and so apparently unprepared for resistance? Do they think we diabetic types have become so callous that we barely notice when our blood is drawn?
I am here to remind you all that “making the best” of the diabetes game does not mean we have to like it. Still, no bench-warming allowed. We’re in the game for life. Double-Decker Sigh.