Building Trust With My Endocrinologist
I have struggled to place my trust in endocrinologists over the years. Trust that I can comfortably pour my heart and complete honesty on the table. Trust that I’ll receive total support and complete understanding in return. Trust that any and every judgement will be reserved. And trust that I won’t walk out feeling fragile and disheartened once again (you can read about that here).
Because trust might mean admitting that I had hypos every day last week. Trust might mean confessing to eating a massive dinner on Thursday and then having high blood sugar levels for the rest of the night. And trust might mean admitting to feeling overwhelmed and frustrated by diabetes at the moment. On some level, I’m scared of what will come next. Will she tell me that my diabetes control is terrible? Will she threaten me with complications? Will she tell me that I need to be locked away in a mental hospital because I can’t deal with it all?
Around two years ago, I was transferred from the ‘young adult’ to the ‘adult’ diabetes clinic at my hospital. I was no longer a newly diagnosed, high priority patient. I felt a great sense of independence, achievement and liberation over my diabetes. And I was finally given an endocrinologist who I could call my diabetes specialist (it was a bit of a russian roulette before). Over time, I’ve become more and more comfortable with her. I’ve been able to place a greater level of my trust in her. And each time I go there, I’ve felt confident in sharing more with her. And Wednesday’s appointment must have been my most successful yet.
First up was my hba1c result. It was a few points higher than last time, but I felt satisfied that it had gone up rather than down. I shared that I’d been having lots of hypos prior to my holiday. I’d become obsessive compulsive in checking my blood sugar levels, and was trying to correct them shortly after eating dinner. The holiday did a perfect job of taking my mind away from obsessive testing, and my blood sugar levels had stabilised nicely in these past few weeks I’ve been back. I’ve just had My Perfect Week!
Next up was insulin doses, and we talked through my lunch. 7.9 before lunch, cheese toastie on Burgen bread with 4 units of insulin, 4.6 after lunch. Perfect. As usual, that dreaded question of how many hypos in a week came up. And as usual, I gave a vague answer that did have some truth. I was having significantly less hypos, and none were happening overnight anymore.
I brought up my recent eye concerns. I told her about my twitch, and that I’d gone and had my diabetic retinopathy scan in the process too. My recent bloodwork came back with good kidney and urine functions and some apparently ‘amazing’ cholesterol levels also.
We went into the exam room, where she had a look at the injection sites on my stomach. I hate this part because I always get really ticklish at the pokes and prods! She couldn’t believe that I used 6mm needles because I am so skinny, and gave me some 4mm needles to try at home.
It felt great to review and talk over everything in there. And as I voiced my issues, I made some realisations about myself that my endo seemed to notice as well. I was a proactive patient. I seemed to be able to identify and stay on top of my issues. I was among the least concerning of her patients. And according to her, this was the best case scenario she could expect from one of her patients.
I definitely walked out of there with a stronger focus and motivation to get me through the next few months. I’m glad I rang for that cancellation and didn’t wait until January. “Don’t test!” my endo jokingly said to me as I walked out of there, a smile on my face.