This week begins Diabetes Blog Week – the time in which the diabetes blogging community unites behind a series of topics to provide education, entertainment, and support for ourselves and others. The topics and list of participants are hosted at Bittersweet Diabetes.
Today’s topic (by Melissa) –
Often our health care team only sees us for about 15 minutes several times a year, and they might not have a sense of what our lives are really like. Today, let’s pretend our medical team is reading our blogs. What do you wish they could see about your and/or your loved one’s daily life with diabetes? On the other hand, what do you hope they don’t see?
I’ve had seven endocrinologists in my ten years with diabetes. Some of them I have only seen for one appointment and some I have seen for years. This letter is a collective approach to all of them.
Thank you for seeing me this early in the morning. I’m not a morning person and I’d schedule the appointment for later in the day if I thought there was any chance I could see you without having to wait in the waiting room for over an hour.
I know that you see patient after patient with the same condition and it probably feels like you are repeating yourself over and over to people who aren’t even listening. I can promise you that I am listening. I can also promise you that when you walk into the exam room quoting research studies and diabetes statistics without finding out anything about me first, the rest of the appointment will not go well and I will not trust that you have my best interests in mind.
We both live with diabetes every day. Since endocrinology is not a highly compensated field, I know you must care about what you do. But for me, it’s personal. I know it takes extra time and concentration, but please treat me as an individual and get to know me (or at least read my chart on your way in the door) so that we can work together to find the best treatment for me.
I’ve only been doing this a comparatively short amount of time and that means that there are disagreements that we have never had to have – for that I am very thankful. We’ve never had the fight about logging. That’s good because I’m not going to do it. I choose technology that does the work for me, because we both know nobody wants to deal with any extra steps. I expect you to embrace this technology and help me review the reports I’ve downloaded at home or the ones we can download together in your office.
Speaking of technology, I would love to be able to email your office and receive a reply. I know you are worried about HIPPA violations, but there has to be a way we can maintain privacy and still communicate between appointments. Speaking of communication, I’ll back off on the email issue if you agree to get a phone system that actually works.
Most days I feel like I’ve got this whole diabetes thing under control, but some days I don’t. Thank you for being there for me to help me problem solve and get back on track. I know I have told you that I am a diabetes advocate and that I write a diabetes blog. You don’t seem very interested, but don’t worry, I’m not offended. I just wanted to remind you that sometimes that community of people who I connect with online (and more often now in person too) help keep me on track too.
Your favorite patient
P.S. I’ve lost two of you so far to maternity leave (and once for twins), so if you could stop doing that I would really appreciate it.