21 Responses

  1. June S
    June S August 1, 2012 at 5:33 am | | Reply

    I enjoyed reading your post! Good luck with your new endo. I’m happy with mine. She is female, but not diabetic, and she usually books me for 1/2 hour of her time, every three months. I am an ultra-compliant Type I, who has lived with this disease for 40 years.

    I may be opening a can of worms here (!!!) but I have always felt sorry for guys with Type I, for the simple reason that they don’t usually walk around with purses, the way we women do. Where do they keep that BG meter, spare infusion set/reservoir, and extra bottle of insulin, not to mention the glucose tablets or whatever snack food they need to have on their person?

    Our society has traditionally taught men that they are invincible. I think (and I’m no psychologist, but I do have a brother with Type I) that it is likely more difficult, in some ways, to live with Type I if you’re a guy. I know that’s not the subject of your post (!!) It’s not easy living with it as a girl or woman, either, but I always wonder where guys keep all that paraphernalia!!!

    1. Stanley Pierce
      Stanley Pierce August 3, 2012 at 5:26 pm | | Reply

      Hello! I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in Dec 1971! I was in the Army in Arizona and started losing weight and all the symptoms of uncontrolled sugars! Came home on leave and was put into a hospital with a fasting blood sugar of 1100 mg! I have had my struggles over all these years with our “enemy” diabetes! But with all these testing strips available and human insulin it is much easier to be aggressive with my controlling of this disorder! Because Im a Viet Nam vet i draw full Service Connected disability for my Diabetes! My Aic is always around 6.0 and after all these years manage my sugars well! No complications yet, but after all these years am still optimistic that I will lead a long life with Diabetes! With the tools we have now strips instead of urine tabs it is much easier to feel good and lead a somewhat normal life! Congratulations on your 40 yrs of Type 1! Play the “sugar” game well and u will do well! Take Care STAN

  2. Tim
    Tim August 1, 2012 at 7:24 am | | Reply

    For me, REAL men aren’t afraid of the murse (or D-murse), the diabetic man-purse. It’s quite difficult to find a purse that has diabetes, but it’s worth the effort. The one I have now is about the size of Spock’s tricorder, so I have no idea where to put enough snacks. However, as a non-pumper, it holds my meter, my strips, my insulin pens, alcohol pads, candy for lows, menus from sandwich shops that won’t be named (about underground railway transit vehicles), nail clippers, earplugs, keys, pharmacological supplies, snack bars and still has room (for when I need it) my wallet and mp3 player.

    And it has a shoulder strap. A manly, black shoulder strap. When pressed on the subject, I point out that my OTHER purse carries my lipstick. I frankly don’t care what others think, a purse is darn handy for diabetics of all persuasions. And very useful in reenactments of WW2 battles (for all you Monty Python fans out there).

  3. mollyjade
    mollyjade August 1, 2012 at 8:06 am | | Reply

    The best endo I’ve ever had as an adult was a fellow type 1. He’d say things like “Why don’t you try X, though I know that won’t always be possible.” It was dreamy. The best a1cs I’ve ever had were when he was my doctor.

    I strongly think that part of an endo’s job is to inspire us to try harder, which admittedly, is a tall order .

  4. Steve
    Steve August 1, 2012 at 8:13 am | | Reply

    Lia has had the same endo since she was diagnosed 2.5 years ago (actually a PA not an endo). And though she doesn’t have diabetes, we liked her because she knew how to listen and would pay attention to what Lia was telling her. She didn’t have all the answers, not even close in terms of what a parent of a cwd wants to hear, but she did the best she could in the time we spent with her. It was, I suppose, a good relationship for us, the type of people just accustomed to learning and doing most things on our own, to include blood sugar management.

    She is leaving the practice and a new lady (an endo) is coming on board and while I can’t say I am excited about the change—it’s more a case of managing my expectations—I would love to have the kind of dr for Lia who not only can talk specifics about diabetes, the girly stuff, and be on the lookout for trouble, but someone who can speak more directly and confidently about diabetes and lifestyle choices (fitness, nutrition, travel, etc). That, to me, is way more important than this quarter’s A1C.

  5. eaglesgirl
    eaglesgirl August 1, 2012 at 9:37 am | | Reply

    Best of luck with the switch! You have come across some good d-luck in that find! I was thinking these same things the other day while I was in my endo’s office for my ‘yes your bloodwork is fine, see you in another 3 mos, 10 minute’ visit. Any idea where we can find those practicing endos with Type 1?

  6. Megan
    Megan August 1, 2012 at 11:36 am | | Reply

    I wish you the best of luck with your new Endo! I have been type 1 for 12 years and am on my 6th Endo for obvious reasons, they were all terrible. I truly wish that all Endos were created equal in their understanding of our disease. My last Endo was a total whacko and wanted me to have an A1C of 5.0% at all times, anything less and I just wasn’t trying hard enough. Granted he was fresh out of school, I shouldve known. Endo’s need to understand we are not a textbook, we do not react or do what the book says, we are all totally different from one another. My current Endo is wonderful, I upload my pump and fax him my Dexcom data, he reviews it and call me himself to go over it! AMAZING, a doctor that knows how to use a PHONE! I hope that you love your new Endo and that he helps to attain the goals you are reaching for!

  7. Pete
    Pete August 1, 2012 at 12:12 pm | | Reply

    I’ve bounced around between a couple of endos over the past several years. There was one who didn’t seem to take the disease seriously at all. There was one that seemed to use his job as a doctor as a qualifier to speak about diabetes drugs. There was one who had literally nothing to add to my control – which thankfully has been excellent – other than to write me scripts. The doctor I’m with now is smart, insightful, encouraging and lets me know the areas where I can improve. But at the end of the day, I’m the only one who can truly control my diabetes. I have never blamed poor control – which has been very infrequent – on anyone other than myself.

  8. Dan
    Dan August 1, 2012 at 3:10 pm | | Reply

    I have been a type 1 diabetic for about a quarter of a century. I have been to Endo doctors. For the most part, they can run labs and write scripts. Other than that, they are just guessing, like we do on a daily basis, about what we need to do in regards to dosage of insulin.
    You need an endo if you have problems. However, if you do not, except trying to control yourself better, you can figure it out yourself. There is nothing they can really do for you.
    My experience, with living through this disease, is that so many variables impact blood sugar levels. For example:
    1. When you inject or take insulin, your immune system is there to attack it. It is not always consistent in how effective it is which impacts blood sugars.
    2. Activity level impacts insulin sensitivity.
    3. Foods impact people differently. Foods impact the same person differently from one day to the next.
    4. Foods do not always have consistent amounts of carbs. One handful of blueberries is not completely identical to another handful.
    5. You liver rarely behaves. Sometimes it likes to spill glucose like a drunk. Other times, it does not. For example, every night, around 9 pm, I have to take 5 units of insulin to combat my liver. I have run experiments, where I ate no carbs after 12 noon, and I still require this dose. It has nothing to do with food. It has everything to do with the liver. If I do not take it, by 11 pm by blood sugar will be in the 200’s when it was around 90 at 9:00pm.
    6. We have to deal with the dawn period where insulin is not as effective because the liver deactivates it. But this effect, the degree, is different from day to day.
    7. We also have to deal with the body’s hormones which play around with glucose levels.

    So, what doctor in the world has the insights to know how all those factors play out in your body?

    Endo docs are a waste of time for me.

    I will figure it out myself. I just need a primary care doctor to write my scripts.

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  10. Diabetic Survival Kit
    Diabetic Survival Kit August 1, 2012 at 8:05 pm | | Reply

    As an endo who has been practicing for 31 years, I found the blog and the comments quite interesting and insightful. Part of the job of an endo is similar to that of all doctors who treat people with chronic diseases, to help their patients realize their goals and dreams, and to act like a motivational coach. I often struggle to find the line as to how far I can push somebody to have the best numbers they can have at a particular time. Some patients make it easier to find the line by letting me know how they feel and what struggles they have in their personal life. Others, do not want to share their struggles and want to concentrate on the numbers. Yes, nobody is a text book and care needs to be customized.

  11. Diabetic Survival Kit
    Diabetic Survival Kit August 1, 2012 at 8:11 pm | | Reply

    I have been an endo for 31 years and recognize a large part of my role is to act as a motivational coach. I appreciate your blog and the insightful comments. It is difficult to find the fine line where I push a patient to get the best control he can achieve without going over the edge and turning him off by pushing too hard. Each individual has their own level and needs which vary with changes in their lives. Some patients very willingly share their goals, dreams, and struggles, and I try to help them achieve them. Others are not as open, making it more difficult to find the line and to take into account their life situation.

  12. Kathy
    Kathy August 3, 2012 at 4:58 am | | Reply

    Most of my life with diabetes thus far has been w/o and Endo. I have seen two Endos, one of which was terrible, the other is questionable at this point. I am compliant and in some cases I know about MY diabetes more than the Endo does. Basically all I need the GP for is to write prescriptions. I wish I had a doctor who had a decent understanding of what it is to live 24/7 with diabetes.

  13. Puddin
    Puddin August 3, 2012 at 12:22 pm | | Reply

    I am with you…I still see my endo, mostly because my GP has the personality of a stale legume. One appt I just laid that all out for him while stating that I have been PWD for 30 years, and you have been practicing for about 15. Who do you think is more well versed? Of course I was nice about it and he agreed.

    And Mike H – we are the same kind of PWD, even though there will not be any Forecast articles about us, we are the true, full story of life with D.

    Good luck to everyone riding the sugar dragon.

  14. Evelyn Guzman
    Evelyn Guzman August 4, 2012 at 11:13 am | | Reply

    I understand your frustration and what you feel for your endocrinologist who does not seem to get what a type 1 feels and the burn out that comes along every once in a while. Of course one does not want a “yes man” endo who should be a little aggressive to find what fits a unique patient but some kind of understanding and a better bedside manner should be the order of the visit. And it is good that you can put your feelings in such an excellent post. How about those who can’t?

    Of course, if one is not happy with his endo, he should find another one. For anyone who lives in Dallas, TX area there’s an excellent endo there by the name of Dr. Christina Bratcher who puts her patient on the right track. And her whole office will make you feel you are family. Quite a few people recommend Dr. Christina Bratcher with Diabetes America. One who lives somewhere else should try to google Diabetes America where he can hopefully find a good endo.

  15. Dan
    Dan August 5, 2012 at 11:55 am | | Reply

    Hi Mike,
    Yesterday is history and tomorrow is a mystery. Give today your best shot. Regarding a new endo, I have a great endo!~ Why, you see he lived with a diabetic wife. She was a type 1 diabetic and recently passed away. He lived the life of a diabetic. The line of diet, exercise and insulin sounds simple enough, until life strtikes you directly. Regarding June S. comment. I am a forty-six year type 1 diabetic and am very analytical. It’s the numbers and what can I do, right now to walk the walk and walk the talk. Regarding the stuff. I was at a medical center with my mother for her second round of breast cancer medication. One of the nurses reminded me that I had left my purse. So, I took the time to pull our a blood glucose meter, stripes, wipes, etc. it got very quiet. However, I have been successful is dealing with changes and can react for over 48 hours with the stuff I carry. Hope this helps and as always have a great day.

  16. silver price
    silver price August 7, 2012 at 1:42 pm | | Reply

    This goes through my head every time my blood sugar is below 65 mg/dL. I talked about lows with my endocrinologist a few weeks ago , and how when I’m excessively low (the ones that tangle my tongue in my mouth and leave cotton balls in the place where my brain should be), it’s very hard to measure out fifteen grams of carbs, then eat, and then sit patiently and wait for my blood sugar to rise.

  17. Sandy Floyd
    Sandy Floyd October 24, 2012 at 8:44 am | | Reply

    I know Vince could relate to you and your Endo expierences. He had an Endo that would always talk down to him. No bedside manner. He is supposed to be one of the best in the Philly area, but they just weren’t clicking. He then began seeing his current Endo who happened to be trained by the other guy and this guy is great. Great at what he does and never once talked down to Vince in any way. And yes, I carry supplies in my purse for Vince too like Suzie :)

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  19. Kerse
    Kerse March 22, 2013 at 8:12 am | | Reply

    When my dad was diagnosed with type 1, he bounced from doctor to doctor. He said he was constantly frustrated with the lack of personability. Don’t feel alone, it seems to be a very prevalent problem. Somebody who has never suffered through what you are suffering through will never be able to identify.

    There’s a big difference between “When one of my patients had a spike,” and “Whenever I spike…” It truly is a matter of feeling less alone or different.

    My father and I both go to a great endocrinologist, with a primary focus on the thyroid. My dad is now completely off helping drugs, has it pretty much managed with diet and exercise. He’s a real inspiration to me.

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