Sunday, September 22, 2013

Who's the best doctor?

Assume you have been seeing the same old diabetes doctor since you were just a young teen. For a very long time, let's say around 30 years, this same doctor has been your hero, the man who has helped you through many ordeals. He has calmed you down when you were completely lost. He understood the high numbers followed by those creepy lows when you had gone out with your
friends. He reprimanded you for not using your glucometer for 2 weeks, because you were fed up with D. He reassured your parents you were going to be okay, when once again, you were in the hospital with DKA. Your parents invited him to your wedding and he congratulated you with your first child. He helped you figure out the lows and the highs and he checked the blue marks on your thigh as a result of the daily nighttime shot. He reminded you to take your vitamin D and to change your needles as often as possible. And then, he announced he was going to leave the hospital. He wanted other, younger doctors to take over. Your world fell apart. How would you cope without him? Not one other doctor knew all about your lows and highs. This man knew you better than your own parents did? Deep down, you knew this day would come. You weren't ready for it. It wasn't easy for him either...

Then this other doctor showed up. He was experienced too. He had a calm voice and a firm hand but he was not your doctor.. You built a shield around you and you were not prepared to let him in. He talked about some device you had never heard of. He tried to persuade you to alter the settings on your insulin pump. Was he out of his mind??? If your settings weren't okay, wouldn't your own doctor have said so? What do you mean, 180 mg/dl is not the best average blood glucose?

You were heartbroken. You wanted to talk to your own doctor and make him come back. He deserved his retirement, absolutely. But why now? Why someone else that you didn't know?

Things are different now. You have to rely on a different method. A doctor with an opinion of its own. Why does he keep saying it is so important to count carbs? Why does he want you to change what has become your way of life? It's not fair. It's still the same disease, then why change it all?

You texted me to ask about the carb content of this and that. We sat down together, to discuss this new device, called Dexcom G4. You were impressed, to your surprise. Maybe it was time to let go. Just like a mom, who is setting her child free to flap her wings, it was time to let go of the old days and the old ways. You were ready for a new milestone. I heard you followed my advice and you got yourself a new insulin pump, bluetooth included. I'm proud of you. Carb counting can be tricky, but seeing what those carbs do to a body infected by diabetes, is beyond interesting. I have this feeling, that you are beginning to like this new doctor. Maybe he's not the enemy. Maybe he's your next challenge in life. You can do this. You're on your way.

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