Dear Endocrinologits of Years Past,
My very first, you pissed me off. Really, you terrified me, but had I known what I know now I would have been livid. Granted, you had to deal with the crazy medical outlook of my mother. Yet you still called me and made ME cry. I was the patient, I was scared and it was ME who had to take a crash course in T1 diabetes. I wish you would have helped ME…despite the irritation and distraction of my mother.
Endo #2 – you diagnosed me in the ICU…or maybe it was the ER, I wasn’t conscious at the time. Originally I was very fond of you. You were former partners with Endo #1 and highly recommended him, yet I was willing to overlook my disastrous experience. Still new at diabetes and having no support at home as a teenager meant I really needed some handholding. I didn’t get any from you. However, the diabetes educator you referred me to was wonderful! She encouraged me to move to a healthier living environment. She taught me to count carbs correctly. She showed me her pump and encouraged me with her diagnosis story. When I ran into her five years later it was a pleasant experience. When I discovered your patient files on me a few months ago I read “ cannot help patient if patient will not help herself” – I was 18 years old (!!!), had ZERO diabetes education and a family who though it wasn’t diabetes, it was God teaching me a lesson….I needed a LOT of help.
Oh Phoenix Endo, how I loved you, you saved me. You and your staff helped turn my diabetes world around. I only got to see you because my roommate was terrified I’d die and she’d find me. She told her mom who knew you. You fit me right in when the normal wait was at least three MONTHS! You supported me, explained the numbers and ranges, listened to what I needed, accommodated me when I made stupid newbie mistakes….like running out of insulin in my pump at work. I honestly don’t know what would have happened without you. Before you I attempted to find an Endo on my own – he accused me of being pregnant and refused to do anything until I took a pregnancy test; I left and never returned.
Stanford Endo (#4) you turned my perception of California Endos around. You impressed me with your hands on help, respect and dedication. Some appointments lasted over three hours. I cried in your exam room. I had my first diabetic to diabetic, non-medical conversation. You were always willing to work out the numbers with me and make changes together. If I ever had a problem I could call any time of day, and not feel bad about it. You saved me my first night in Idaho.
Montana Endo, you were by far my favorite. You’re not all about the newest gadgets and medications other endos are trying out on their patients; yet you’re willing to try them out after some discussion on what’s best for ME. You respect natural remedies and are willing to build them into my medical maintenance plan. You found things and spent the time discussing each of the potential causes/diagnoses. I would love to move to the Missoula area, just to be your patient again. Despite my four and a half hour drive to get to you, you were always SO willing to help and work through any concerns and questions I might’ve had. You were also the very first to tell me I was managing my diabetes well and knew what I was doing and was free to make changes as I’d like; it was always okay to ask questions. I could take care of my diabetes management and he was always there to help. How could you not love a doctor like you?!?!
Even if we didn’t have a great doctor-patient experience, I am grateful for your help, because even if it was minuscule, you still helped.
A Grateful Diabetic
And I can’t forget my current Dr. Q…
Dear Current Endo,
You and I aren’t very close. You don’t know much about my Crohn’s medications and the effect Crohn’s has on my blood sugars and diabetes management. BUT, you are very willing to help me with any medication I may need. You are always on top of the newest technology and willing to let me try it out. I’m not sure I’d call you if I had a late night emergency…I think I’d call my PCP. Maybe in time I’ll trust you more. There’s nothing wrong with you or your staff, you’re all incredibly kind and helpful. You got me my Dexcom within weeks of my first appointment, you’ve set me up with a nutritionist tomorrow so that I can hopefully get a handle on diabetes AND Crohn’s friendly foods. I guess it seems you’re a little more chart/statistics oriented…you type all my info into your computer and seem to use it’s recommendations for to solutions to my struggles. When I brought up some concerns, you seemed a bit lost today. Again, I just don’t feel like we’re all that close…but there’s potential. You’re willing to help, when I call during the day I always get answers. When my insurance changed you were willing to work out a special contract and allow me to be seen. Starting a new endo is hard work, I’m incredibly grateful for your accommodations. I feel that we’ll work out well, and I feel l will continue to visit your office until I leave the area. …although I’m not sure I liked your mentioning the possibility of pregnancy…it’s that damn Phoenix tryout endo, he made me feel like a whore and I think I’m just sensitive to doctors considering that as a potential cause to my struggles.
I really hope I can see you for a long time and it will become more personal and my trust will grow.
Your Very Complicated Diabetic