It’s the 4rd Annual Diabetes Blog Week and of course, I wouldn’t miss it!
Today’s prompt: 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? (Thanks to Melissa Lee of Sweetly Voiced for this topic suggestion.)
I am actually incredibly lucky in that I spent approximately 30 to 45 minutes with my endocrinologist about two to three times a year, so I have found that she is pretty well educated as to what my day-to-day life looks like. It’s not a terribly complicated life either, and so I think I’ve been able to give her a glimpse into what my struggles are fairly well.
I think it would be pretty neat for more endocrinologists to read D-blogs, but I know they have only so many hours in the day to both manage their patient load, do the necessarily administrative work, and spend time with their family! So I have a spin on this post that I’d like to share.
What I would like is for every endocrinologist to live like a PWD for one week. Okay, I’ll be more reasonable. Three days. Perhaps during the next American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists? I want endocrinologists to count all of their carbohydrates. I want them to wear an insulin pump infused with saline. I want them to test their blood sugar at least five times a day (and receive texts telling them what their BG would be because obviously non-PWD endos would be just perfect!). I want them to be forced to wake up in the middle of the night. I want their morning meetings to be interrupted. I want them to stop on the side of the road for fifteen minutes and have people wonder why the heck they’re drinking a juice box.
Then I want them to sit down with a PWD and have the PWD tell them all ways they didn’t do things right. I want them to know what it’s like to be questioned about why a bolus was missed or why this 252 mg/dl exists. I want them to have to answer stupid questions. I want them to have to hear the words “Well, you should know better.”
Even then, that’s not really what diabetes is like because they don’t have the intrinsic worries about dying in their sleep or losing their feet. They don’t have to worry about whether or not they’ll be harassed at their airport on their way home from the conference. They won’t suffer the physical ramifications of this disease, like nausea, shakiness or cottonball-mouth (that’s a technical term). They don’t have to listen to those who don’t know and don’t understand passing judgment on their very reasonable life choices, such as having a piece of pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving or a cupcake at a birthday party. They won’t simultaneously worry about their own mortality while wondering how they can possibly get through the day.
They won’t really know what it’s like to have diabetes because diabetes is not something you can explain with words. Diabetes is something that must be felt.