Welcome back again to the Diabetic Partner Follies, where the significant others of the PWDs (people with diabetes) are invited to vent. This week, we feature another double-diabetic household, in which one is none-to-happy with the other’s medical providers. A new kind of sticky wicket. Hopefully, you all out in the Community can offer some advice here. (And remember, if you’d like to submit a post, email me here.)
So, Amy, you haven’t heard from me for a while, here’s a question or a rant or whatever you want to call it:
We’re both type 2s, about 8 years from diagnosis, and married 3 years. What’s a person with diabetes, married to a person with diabetes, to do when one partner is unhappy with other partner’s diabetes management, and with the other partner’s doctor?
I know that there is a standard of care that is recommended for diabetes, and that in each state, any doctor may be reported to the governing authority for failing to meet the standard of care in any particular case, not just diabetes. My state board says that they may investigate issues of “Quality of care” meaning inappropriate or substandard care.
So, is letting my beloved go for years (3+ years) with an HbA1c of 8.8 or greater substandard care? Is putting him on a course of oral steroids without adjusting his medication for the known and expected increase in blood sugar levels, is that substandard care? Is prioritizing treatment of annoying or uncomfortable medical symptoms over his diabetes, which could be developing potentially life-threatening complications, is that substandard care? I sure think so.
In my case, my relationship with my physician is a partnership, pre-dating the marriage, with input from both of us. We make a plan, we work the plan for a while, we run tests and evaluate the results, and repeat, as necessary.
Since my partner does not invite me in to his medical appointments, I have no idea what their relationship is. Is my partner overruling the doctor? Has the doctor lost all hope of affecting my partner’s behavior? What is going on?
Trust is one of the bases of any good and healthy relationship. How does living in a double-diabetes household affect this? I trust my own diabetes self-management plan. I trust my own diabetes knowledge. I trust my own choices, both good and bad. But it’s harder to trust his. The blame tends to land squarely on the physician, because it’s easier to blame this outside physician than my own beloved.
I don’t want to be the diabetes police. I want to trust my beloved. It’s just hard to do when I see this as threatening our long and happy life together.