Type 1 Writes at the World Diabetes Congress!

Last week at the World Diabetes Congress in Vancouver, psychologist Marisa Hilliard kindly quoted one of my blog posts in her presentation about prioritising emotional wellbeing from diabetes healthcare professionals.

One of my OzDOC friends Kim, who was at the conference, kindly tweeted one of Marisa’s presentation slides to me on Saturday morning.

My words sounded familiar, but I couldn’t put a mental finger to the exact post that this quote belonged to. I turned to Dr. Google, and who fetched for me a post from July titled “I Don’t Feel Like I’m Doing Enough.”

I have extremely mixed feelings towards this post. This was the very last post that I expected to be quoted. This post was extremely difficult for me to write. I wrote it on a day where I didn’t feel in a very good place with my diabetes management. It was one of my lowest points this year.

But after some deliberation, I decided that I am proud of this post. I’m proud of how transparent I was that day. I’m proud of how writing this post helped me to identify what I needed to find in order to manage my diabetes. I’m proud that I did share a vulnerable moment, because life with diabetes isn’t always smooth sailing. I’m proud of the fact that this post inspired a presentation advocating for emotional support towards people with diabetes.

Initially, I wanted to bury this post and forget about it.

Today, I proudly repost my words from July. (And tomorrow, I’ll weigh in on emotional support from diabetes healthcare professionals).

I’ve been stuck in a rut for a while. My hba1c levels are okay, I guess, but they’re not great either. And they’ve been stuck in that good, but not great phase for a long time. And right now, I just can’t stop thinking about this tweet from last week.

I have a love hate relationship with my doctor. I love how he can quickly dismiss my concerns when I’m not feeling well. But I hate that I don’t feel that anything constructive comes from seeing him. Every single visit usually goes the same way. He’ll tell me that my illness is “just a virus,” send me for a blood test and then tell me “you need to get your sugar levels down.” I’ll nod my head. I might even manage to mumble an “okay.” He’s usually running an hour behind, and I’ll be lucky to get five minutes in there before I’m pushed out the door. I know he’s not a diabetes expert, but it’s not like he even tries to offer any sort of genuine help.

Then there’s the endocrinologist. An endocrinologist appointment really does motivate me to do better with my diabetes. And I can talk to the endo, if its someone I’m comfortable with. But I don’t get to see them as often as I probably need to right now. If I’m lucky, I’ll get to see them twice a year. And if I’m extremely lucky, I’ll get to see the same endo both times. I’m due for an appointment right about now. In fact, I could really use an endocrinologist appointment right about now. And out of the whole six months that my appointment could have been scheduled for, it just had to be in the two weeks that I was on holidays. And now, the earliest I can reschedule for is January. January, for heaven’s sake. Being in the public health system can be so frustrating sometimes.

And I just can’t stop thinking about that tweet. I think there’s a good reason I wrote it. I need to try harder to find the support I was calling for in that Tweet. It’s well and truly time for me to get back on track. I’ve had my break. Perhaps too long of a break. I’ve had a lot of fun and enjoyed a lot of good food. And now, it’s time for me to hit that reset button that comes after a good break.

Normally, I would have accepted that wait until January for an endocrinologist appointment. Normally, I would make those excuses about work and life and being busy. But today, I’m going to give my Diabetes Clinic a call and see if there are any cancellations that have come up. And I’m going to make more time for diabetes. Because right now, I don’t feel like I’m doing enough. And right now, I want to feel better about myself.

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