21 Responses

  1. Mike Ratrie
    Mike Ratrie February 1, 2013 at 6:33 am | | Reply

    Good post, Mike! Also, pretty damn courageous to bare yourself like that to the world.

    Happy Birthday and here’s to the first day of the rest of your life!

  2. Scott E
    Scott E February 1, 2013 at 6:47 am | | Reply

    Mike, I know the feeling of dreading visits to the endo. Busy schedules are one thing, but fearing what happens there is quite another. I once confessed to an endo that I was “afraid that he would yell at me”. He looked at me like I was insane. He’s not going to yell at me, he reassured. I’m an adult and I ultimately am responsible for my own decisions. That answer kind of changed my feelings from that day forward about going to see my doctors.

    I suppose that, having diabetes since childhood, we were brought up with the mentality of following other people’s rules and getting scolded when we didn’t. I suppose diabetes is the last context in which I truly considered myself an “adult” — and it took until I was in my 30′s to realize that.

    Nobody else is in charge of you anymore. You don’t have to Live Like a Refugee.

  3. Brian
    Brian February 1, 2013 at 9:04 am | | Reply

    Mike, I think it also is personally courageous of you to let many know the intricacies and frustrations of our illness and the feeling of self-intimidation as well. I have put off seeing my endo too, but it was only for a short period of time. They, DE and Endo, are quite understanding, but it is my own personal frustration that comes through – and I am a type II of all things. Just got put on the pump and I can say that even after a month and a half, it has given me hope and less pain of 7 shots per day. Blessings to you as you manage all the things about this weird disease.

  4. Lisa
    Lisa February 1, 2013 at 9:37 am | | Reply

    Mike – Thank you so much for sharing this experience!! My son is a recently diagnosed type 1. We just hit the 2 year mark and he is 14. Add puberty, hormones, general teenage “You can’t make me” attitude and I was dreading our quarterly Endo appointment. Sure enough, by the end of the appointment we were both in TEARS! Our endo made us both feel so bad for not having better control, not checking enough, etc….. She made me feel like a HORRIBLE mom for not checking enough and monitoring my son better. Believe me, I know we can and must do better. Yelling at us at our appointment is not exactly the best way to meet that goal.

    We are still learning how tough this is. I stress “Learning” as we are still struggling to know how and what to do. What we do one day does not work the next. We have been on the pump for just a year and the Dr. said she would take it away if we didn’t get better.

    1. Tim Steinert
      Tim Steinert February 1, 2013 at 1:36 pm | | Reply

      Honestly, an endo who treated me that way, no matter what my control was like, would get the boot. A few things you probably want to consider is it might be helpful to get counseling to help both of you deal with this transition. I’m 47 and was diagnosed 3 1/2 years ago and the psychological repercussions are still pretty fresh in my mind.

      Does your son know any other Type 1s his age that he could hang out with and learn from? There is nothing like talking to someone who’s been where you’ve been and come through it to achieve good control. Talking with other D-Moms & Dads would be helpful for you, too.

      Letting him know that you want the best for him and want to help him do his best–even at the sullen age of 14– is helpful. I know exactly what you mean when you say you do the same thing two days in a row and get different results. That is just the way it is sometimes. Hang in there!

  5. Tim Steinert
    Tim Steinert February 1, 2013 at 9:39 am | | Reply

    The thing I’ve been putting off are all the other important tests, like a sleep study (because after a family weekend they said I snored–and then would stop breathing for 12-20 seconds at a time).

    Go after that endo appointment and find out where you’re at so you can plot your course of action. Don’t stoop to blame, but remind yourself that, every day, you’re doing the best you can do to take care of yourself. That includes when you’re control isn’t great.

    That you know you’re not cutting it proves that you care and that the motivation is there to do better. Latch onto that and don’t hesitate to ASK FOR HELP from those around you (and your D-friends online). We all need that accountability of someone knowing what you’re struggling with. and remember, you are not “a rebel without a clue.”

  6. Lisa
    Lisa February 1, 2013 at 9:47 am | | Reply

    Hi Mike and everybody involved with Diabetes Mine –

    Happy Birthday and thanks very much, Mike, for your honest post. This is my first visit to this blog. I am 50 y.o. and was diagnosed with diabetes at the age of two.

    After decades of varying degrees of denial and too many hypoglycemic incidents that prevented me from thinking straight, I finally feel like I’m close to managing my blood sugar levels as opposed to letting them manage me. But I’m not there yet, even though I’m trying hard, and I’m frustrated.

    I think I have two big problems in this regard: 1. no ongoing relationship with a good endo dr. because I have not yet found one who works for me. (I live in NYC.) 2. a not very rational but persistent resistance to using a pump. I tried one once many years ago. I did not like it, and it malfunctioned, and I have not yet brought myself to try again.

    I would very much like to hear from other diabetics who have had to talk themselves into using the pump or who have decided not to use it and are doing well with syringes. And if anyone can recommend a good endo dr. in NYC, I would appreciate that, too.

    With lots of gratitude for the post and the site,

    1. Mary Dexter
      Mary Dexter February 1, 2013 at 3:22 pm | | Reply

      I’ve gone back to the pens from the pump due to a bubble issue that couldn’t be resolved. I worried about switching from micromanaging basal rates to figuring out the timing of split doses of Lantus. Maybe it’s because things were so horrible with the bubbles (40-400), but this last month has brought some happy surprises: being able to wear a slinky dress again, sleeping au natural, the freedom of no tubing, the variety of places to inject. not to mention not worrying every moment, waking and sleeping, whether my bg was going to start to soar because I wasn’t getting insulin. For the first few weeks, I used syringes, and got better at using them. Don’t have that count to 10 thing with the pens, and I felt like a real Badass, but finally caved to societal pressures.

      I wouldn’t have been able to do this without my endo and CDE. Especially when I’m ricocheting between hypo and hyperglycemia, it’s hard for me to see patterns and solutions. And sometimes it’s just helpful when they recognize that not knowing how much insulin my pancreas will produce at any given time (I’m LADA), makes it really hard for any of us to figure out what to do without making things worse.

    2. Caroline
      Caroline February 1, 2013 at 3:49 pm | | Reply

      Hi Lisa! I’m a T1 in NYC and I’ve done both injections and pumping. Here are my thoughts:

      I highly recommend the Naomi Berrie Center on 168th. You may have heard of it already, but I go here and the service is generally excellent. My endo is Dr. Golden, and she’s fantastic– unfortunately, she’s a bit TOO good and so I can usually only see her every 5 months! So I doubt she’s taking new patients, but you can contact them and see who is. Dr. Freeby has also come highly recommended. Their website is

      If that doesn’t work, then I’ve heard good things about the Friedman Diabetes Center at Beth Israel (17th St.)

      As for pumps, I think it’s best to lay out all your concerns with your endo and go from there. I didn’t hesitate for a second when I went on a pump 4 months after diagnosis. I had great success for 7.5 years until I had problems with absorption, and switched to pens in 2011. My reasoning for sticking with pens is similar to Mary Dexter’s, and my A1C is the best ever– so why not?

      Best of luck!

      1. Lisa
        Lisa February 1, 2013 at 8:15 pm | | Reply

        Thanks, Mary Dexter and Caroline, for replying. It’s reassuring to read that pumps aren’t the only way to manage this disease well. And Caroline, I really appreciate the info on the diabetes centers. I will check them out. Many thanks!!

  7. Terry Keelan
    Terry Keelan February 1, 2013 at 10:25 am | | Reply

    Happy Birthday, Mike!

    I too procrastinate with my endo visits, particularly when I’m sure I will have a disappointing A1c. I like my doctor and CDE very much and I hate giving them bad news.

    Time to man up, though. This year I’ve resolved to be proactive and give them good news on each visit, rather than chasing the good news and only visiting when I think my control has been good. After all, I need them to help me keep good control, not just pat me on the back for doing it on my own! Otherwise, why see them at all?

    You’re doing a great job, by the way!

  8. pwd doc
    pwd doc February 1, 2013 at 11:11 am | | Reply

    I don’t think you need an A1C test to know your blood sugars are high. Tell your endo you don’t want it because it isn’t going to add anything to your management and is only going to depress you. Frequent blood sugar monitoring tells you much more than an A1C. An A1C what give you any idea what you need to do to improve your control. Blood sugars tell you where to start and concentrate.

    It sounds like you need to talk to your endo about what will work for you to improve your control, even if you don’t get to where you would like. If you dread the pump, take it off. If you hate taking so many shots – wear the pump. If you want more flexibility, talk to your endo about taking about half of your basal as lantus once a day, so it is easier to take pump holidays when you want for shorter times. It doesn’t matter so much what you do, but that you work with your endo to be creative so you find it less painful to take care of yourself. Pick one goal first and try to meet it (even if you have 10 goals). As you mentioned, you will feel better if you are able to do something that gives you positive feedback, even if there is more you would like to do.

    After you have your stress test, consider getting more exercise – those endorphins improve your mental outlook and the exercise helps get the blood sugars down without putting on weight like taking extra insulin. You are more apt to get exercise if you do something fun or social – go dancing with your wife? ice skating? If you hate exercise, at least try to walk when you can if you don’t get frostbite outside in the winter. Try to catch what little daylight there is – makes you feel better mentally. When you work at home, you sometimes need to schedule “time out of the house” just to air your brains out.

    You have mentioned you have gone for psychological counseling. I hope you are talking with your therapist about how much you hate taking care of your diabetes and your difficulty going for appointments with your endo.

    I think it is great you are sharing your struggles with others. You are not alone and I’m sure many readers feel a little less bad about their own shortcomings knowing there are others who get diabetes burn out and really just wish they could at least take a “diabetes vacation” (not just a pump vacation) and hopefully have a cure soon. In the meantime, I hope you can cope, so you are healthy when the cure comes and you can enjoy it.

  9. Greg Dragon
    Greg Dragon February 1, 2013 at 12:34 pm | | Reply

    Great post Mike, I hope that many guys like yourself who are lucky enough to read this will get a spark to do better about taking care of themselves and making the necessary trips to the doctor. We can be a stubborn bunch when things aren’t convenient, but we owe it to ourselves to push past our own stubbornness in favor of health and putting ourselves first.

    I hope your birthday is a great one! From a fellow Tom Petty fan.

  10. Wil
    Wil February 1, 2013 at 2:02 pm | | Reply

    Endo? We’re supposed to have an Endo?

  11. Vicki Baker
    Vicki Baker February 1, 2013 at 2:26 pm | | Reply

    Happy Birthday Mike and thank you for sharing. Where I live diabetics see their endo every three months and make the next appt before leaving the office. They also review data between visits. My endo reviews my CGM data every two weeks and makes changes to my pump. I think the in between help is essential because managing diabetes takes so much. My endo works very hard. He called me at home this morning to tell me to see a patient in the hospital again for changes that had to be made. I wish you’ll could find an endo that works for you. I do have to admit I hate going to see him even though I love and respect him. Must be the guilt we carry.

  12. AmyT
    AmyT February 1, 2013 at 3:18 pm | | Reply

    SUPER, MEGA HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Mike today! Love ya!

    (Oh, and a shout-out to my Endo… see u soon, promise)

  13. Tarra Robinson
    Tarra Robinson February 1, 2013 at 5:41 pm | | Reply

    Happy Birthday Mike. I have done this avoid the Endocrinologist game my self at least once or twice. I have a really hard time hearing your a bad diabetic because things are higher or lower than they should be. I know that is why I have a new Endocrinologist. I would tell the Endocrinologist when you see them that you are feeling burnt out and you are just starting to work on it. My new Endocrinologist was really glad I told him I was burned out and took it easy on me. I am hoping when you do go that the appointment goes well.

  14. Paula Fairchild
    Paula Fairchild February 4, 2013 at 8:54 am | | Reply

    happy belated birthday.. and thank you for your informative, insightful posts! 29 years? wow! congratulations.. and thank you again for sharing your experiences, your knowledge, and being an inspiration to others.

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