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URL:   http://www.diabetesselfmanagement.com/blog/jan-chait/information-who-needs-that/print/

Information? Who Needs THAT?

Jan Chait

August 3, 2010

“What did you do?” I asked Patty after three recipes appeared in my inbox — boom, boom, boom. “Put the fear of Patty into them?”

“They” are my fellow Sisterhood members, led by President-for-Life Patty. Sisterhood funds religious school, organizes and hosts social events at the synagogue, and more. I’m the vice president (also for life, the way it’s going). Patty and I, both in our 60s, are among the youngest members. Did I tell you that about the same time I ruptured my Achilles tendon, Patty fell off a stool and shattered her calcaneus (heel bone)? We’ve both had complications from surgery and have been hobbling for more than a year now.

The recipes are for a calendar, one of Sisterhood’s fundraisers. It began (as many things do) innocently enough when the religious school children did some experiential learning a few years ago. They were learning about Jewish calendars, so they might as well make some at the same time. Right? The calendars were filled with pictures of the adorable children and parents and grandparents snapped them up.

And so it began.

This year, the calendar theme is desserts. We serve dessert and coffee after services, so it was a natural. All I wanted from each member was a recipe and the story behind it. Was it a family dish passed down through generations? One that the member was especially known for? Then we would get together, desserts in hand, for a photo session: a table full of the desserts for the cover and individual desserts and their stories to be featured — one per month — on the inside pages. That session is to take place…well, today. (Yipes!)

Easy, right? Not if you’re on a tight deadline and fewer than half of the participants have gotten their recipes to you. As time went by with no response — despite more than one reminder — it got to be more frustrating. I needed to be mocking up pages and gathering props for the photos.

It came to a head yesterday, when I was in Indianapolis for a post-op doctor’s appointment (I’m doing very well, thanks) and to shop for some of the aforementioned props. If I didn’t know what was coming in, I didn’t know what to buy to enhance the setting. There was nothing to do but grab a few things there and a lot of things around the house and hope for the best.

Information is good in all aspects of our lives. While some — such as recipes for a calendar — are relatively low on the ladder of importance, others—say, information about your diabetes treatment — can be a detriment to your health if not given.

That’s why I was angry for Bluette Lambert, who wrote a comment on my blog entry, “Diabetes? Who Has Time?” Her blood glucose was high. Her blood glucose was low. She needed answers, but answers were not forthcoming. What’s wrong with the people in that hospital? Were they waiting to make a bundle on her diabetic complications?

There is absolutely NO excuse for health-care professionals failing to give you needed information. And that information should be given in a way that you can understand, no matter how long it takes.

I was surprised to see all of the comments on my blog entry about medicines for Type 2 diabetes. It seems to me that there are a lot of health-care professionals out there who don’t keep their patients informed.

Now, I’m of an age where we didn’t question the doctor. Doc was all-knowing. Doc knew best. But on my journey to knowledge about Type 2 diabetes came the realization that Doc can slip up and that it was up to me to make sure I was educated enough to know how to take care of myself most of the time. I’ve also been known to tell Doc he was wrong. And why. (Yeah, I still remember THAT yelling match!)

Next week, I’m going to share with you some information from a medical facility that “gets it.” One that tells its patients they’re entitled to information.

In the meantime, I welcome comments about your experiences — good or bad. If bad, what did you do to rectify it? And let’s see what we can do to help Ms. Lambert.



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