Not MY Adorable, Quivering Finger!

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My granddaughter has been feeling dizzy once in a while. Yesterday, I decided to check her blood glucose to see if she was experiencing a bit of hypoglycemia.

Now, the kid (almost 20) has this “thing” about sharp objects. She’s happy to have her sugar checked if she scrapes her knee or a cat scratches her, but to purposely poke a hole in her finger is a no-no. So I was trying to give her choices.

“What finger do you want to use?” I asked.

“Uhhhhhhh…” she moaned.

Her boyfriend, who was holding her hand, repeated, “which finger do you want to use?”

“Yours,” she shot back.

In the end, I gave up on checking her BGs and just handed over some jelly beans.

She’s showing signs of turning into a Type 2 already, with some recent weight gain right around the middle. (Yes, I’m working on that, which is not easy with a picky eater.) I feel sorry for the doctor who tries to get her to check her glucose or give herself insulin. On the other hand, we’ve learned that doctors are disinclined to do that, anyway.

I’m still shaking my head about doctors who apparently have crystal balls that tell them what their patients prefer in terms of treatment regimens. I don’t understand why they won’t refer people to specialist or a CDE if they don’t want to mess with something or don’t know how/don’t want to learn.

I went to this doctor once (remember that word “once”) who got his tighty whiteys all in a wad because I saw an endocrinologist.

Well, it started with the doctor saying, “I want to get a finger stick.”

“Fine, but I just ate some cookies. However, I could show you my log book.”

“Why did you eat cookies?! You’re not supposed to be eating cookies!”

(To cover an insulin peak, you jerk. And it’s not like they were double-stuff Oreos: They were 15 grams of carbohydrate worth of vanilla wafers.) “So I wouldn’t go low.”

Well, that got the visit off to a roaring start. At some point, he said I shouldn’t be seeing an endocrinologist because “you’re MY diabetic.”

OK. He doesn’t know what he’s doing, but he doesn’t believe I should be seeing somebody who does because I’m “his diabetic.” Actually, I’m nobody’s “diabetic.” I strongly dislike that word.

“Well,” he said later, “maybe you can go in once a year to get your insulin dosage adjusted.”

“But I’ve already adjusted it myself several times this month alone,” I responded.

“How’d you learn to do THAT?!”

“They taught me.”

I don’t understand. How can you take care of yourself when you have a chronic condition if somebody doesn’t work with you to teach you how? How can you tolerate living with a chronic condition if you can’t fit it into your lifestyle as much as possible? It’ll never be 100%, but diabetes is one condition that allows some flexibility.

If a doctor is the type of person who needs to be in charge; who needs to dictate to you, how’s that going to work? Will he be available 24/7 if you have a situation you’ve not encountered? What if you want to eat green beans instead of a baked potato? Do you call to ask how to change your insulin or oral medication dosage? Wouldn’t it be easier to just have you get some education so you can do it yourself?

When you were born, you didn’t automagically know how to walk and feed yourself. When you started school, you didn’t pick up a book and begin reading the first day — or doing algebra, for that matter.

Diabetes is for the rest of our lives. If we are to live our lives so that we feel well and are, hopefully, complication-free, we need to know how to balance food, meds, and activity. And much more like, oh, how often to have a dilated eye exam, or get an HbA1c and stuff like that.

If you haven’t gotten out there learning yet — get going! It’s never too late. Your doctor may tell you. Or he may not. I think it’s really up to those of us who are dealing with the diabeastie.

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