Making the Leap into Private Diabetes Care

I am extremely grateful for the diabetes care I have had access to over the past six years. The diabetes clinic at my local public hospital has given me access to every kind of service I could ask for manage my diabetes. All completely free of charge. Unless you count parking. Parking is a pain in the ass.

By far, the most amazing part of that diabetes clinic was my amazing Diabetes Educator, Gwen. Yeah, appointments were often as far as three months apart. Yeah, there was a gap in the middle of those six years where I probably should have kept in touch but didn’t. But Gwen was always there. She was always available by phone and by e-mail. She listened to me. She was someone I could rely on. I wouldn’t have wanted anyone else to support me as I began insulin pump therapy in May.

She retired several months ago.

In the last couple of weeks, I feel like I’ve lost my way. I no longer feel like I can achieve consistency day to day. I mean, I know I’m doing all the right things. Writing things down. Trying to take note of patterns. Checking my basal rates. Eyeing insulin to carb ratios. But none of these things seem to add up to consistent trends in blood sugar levels after eating.

I so wish I could call Gwen right now. All I want is someone to talk this over with. Someone who’s brain isn’t screaming diabetes, diabetes and more diabetes.

The high point of last week was a hba1c result that I had worked damn hard for. The low point was the diabetes education that went with it.

I’m a very hands on person with my diabetes management. Okay, maybe even a little too much of a micro manager. But the advice I received last week was very textbook. I didn’t feel that I was being listened to, nor did I feel that the way I choose to manage my diabetes was supported.

To be fair to this educator, it would have been difficult to give advice to someone who she had only met for the first time. Let alone in the space of a 30 minute appointment on a busy clinic day. Gwen was never replaced after she retired, which has meant a revolving door of whoever’s free to see me on the day I come into clinic.

However at the moment, I need better. I deserve better. I need someone who I can build a relationship with. I need someone who has more time for me than a busy and understaffed clinic in a public hospital allows. I need someone who will listen to me, and be supportive of my approach towards managing my diabetes.

The icing on the cake was being told that it would be okay for me to let my a1c creep back up a little, because that’s all I needed to avoid long term complications.

This is something that has weighed on my mind for some time. I have decided that I want to make the leap into private diabetes education.


  1. Rick Phillips

    Of course in US almost all diabetes health care is private. We do have some (less than 5%) public health clinics. We have such different systems. I wish you well Frank !!

    This item has been referred to the TUDiabetes Blog page for the week of November 7, 2016

  2. Tas

    Hey Frank

    Hmm I’m pretty sure I saw you at Charlie’s on the 9th later in the afternoon waiting to be seen by the educator/Dr. That day there was no apt times in place as my apt with the Dr was supposed to be at 2.15pm and then the educator at 3pm. I only managed to see the educator at 3.40pm and just couldn’t hang around to see the Dr especially with a little baby in my care and it was 4+pm by then.

    Your post above I strongly agree and feel the same way!!! I had the educator advising me to keep my BSL around 7-8 and bring my hba1c up to 7!!!! Sigh :((((((((

    • Small world, hey? Yes, that likely would have been me. I’m so sorry to hear that your clinic day was disappointing, too. The educator I was supposed to see was sick that day, so I saw a sub. It’s so hard to work through stuff with someone different every time, let alone when they’re rushed. I appreciate the importance of minimising hypos, but I definitely expect to be encouraged with my hba1c. I worked damn hard for it, as I’m sure you did too.

  3. Amanda

    Hey Frank, I’ve been reading your blog post for some time now. I’m a 32yr old & have just had my first child. I’m also 3 months fresh into my Medtronic pump with CGM & couldn’t be happier.

    I’ve only ever had private diabetes care & it’s been wonderful. I’m currently working with a wonderful team & really feel like Maxine, my diabetes nurse sounds much like Gwen. Maxine also worked for some time in the public system. Here are her details & those of my rad specialist Dr Davis.

    Professor Timothy Davis 9431 3229
    Maxine Schlaeppi – Diabetes Nurse Practitioner. 0400 779 097

    I hope you can find the care team you are looking for, moving into the private space.

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