The “Fill In” Endo

I’m very protective over my diabetes. I share it with the people I can trust, and I do my best to shield it from people who aren’t going to be supportive. I can thank my very first endocrinologist for that.

Thankfully, the endo I have today is someone I can trust. Each time I go into diabetes clinic, I find myself able to share more and more with her. Which is funny, considering I only go in there twice a year. But still, I feel a certain level of comfort in front of her, that I don’t in front of strangers.

I’d been planning Wednesday’s appointment out in my head for weeks. I had a list of notes and questions in my diary to ask her. I was nervously anticipating my post Christmas hba1c result. Sidenote: I really need to get these done inbetween my 6 monthly appointments, so that I’m not playing guessing games or making excuses to slack off on diabetes management for too long! I knew exactly what I wanted to talk to her about. I even brought along my FreeStyle Insulinx meter and USB cord, ready to share my data with her. For me, that was a massive step, and a big vote of confidence in her.


So, when a “fill in” endo came over and called me into the office, my guard was immediately up again. That trust was gone. I would have to tread water carefully, but I was willing to give him the benefit of the doubt.

However, he didn’t seem to be very knowledgeable around my questions.

I asked him if I would be able to get an endo’s sign off on the pump without coming in for another appointment. His response went something like “I’m not really sure. I imagine that we would be able to sign it without you coming in. Gwen will be able to tell you.” Gwen, being my fantastic diabetes educator, of course.

I also asked him if I could have a letter exempting me from limits on subsidised test strips. He responded with “I haven’t really heard of such a thing. It might be a better question for Gwen. There is such a thing as too much testing. Most people probably don’t need to be testing more than 4 or 5 times per day.” 

He also wasn’t very encouraging when we talked about my latest hba1c result.

It had gone up by half a point since last time, but it was exactly where I expected it to be after the past few months I’ve had. I expressed my disappointment, and my desire for it to be lower and more stable with a pump. “Your hba1c is around where we’d like to see it. It’s certainly a good range to be aiming for” he replied, suggesting that I didn’t need to be aiming any lower.

All in all, he left me feeling disappointed. I feel like I’ve come so far with my diabetes management. I’m so proud of the attention and interest that I’ve given to my diabetes in this past year. I had shared my perspective around my diabetes to him, looking for some support and some guidance. Yet some of his answers were so vague and wishy washy, that I seriously doubted whether he was an actual endo.

I got the impression that because my chart looked amazing compared to many of his other patients, he didn’t need to give me too much of his time. I’m not a qualified professional myself, yet I can see that there’s room for improvement. There is always room for improvement.

As I walked out of there with a doctor’s certificate dated from the 1990s in hand, I thought to myself thank goodness I’m seeing Gwen on Monday.


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One thought on “The “Fill In” Endo

  1. I’m sorry your appointment didn’t go as planned. Mine was the same a few weeks ago. I got A1C results back (4.8%), but my endo said they were too low and asked me to get another test. I did, and it came back at 6.5%. Having been at 5.5% my last appointment, I wasn’t thrilled with the 6.5%, but he was fine with it and shrugged off the 2% difference in the two tests that were done minutes apart. I left feeling unsatisfied and not knowing exactly where my management stands at this point.

    Your point about the endo feeling satisfied because your chart looks better than most struck a chord with me. I feel that way sometimes, too.

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