Diabetes Blog Week 2013: Day 1.
every prescription and list of ‘until next visit action items’ provided by my endo has the subject line of: “heather gabel, uncontrolled type 1 diabetes.”
considering the fact that my lowest a1c since i was diagnosed, eleven years ago, was 7.8 (can you guess what i entered on my tudiabetes profile) i suppose that ‘uncontrolled’ is a fair assessment. and i suppose i deserve the slap in the face offered by the term, “uncontrolled.” in case you haven’t experienced being labeled by a doctor or had a nurse react terribly to a 260ish blood glucose like you are going to die, that IS what it feels like, a big ol’ slap in the face.
i try, i really do. everyday i try. more, i have given my present and future to serving the diabetes community. it’s everything i want to be doing with my life and more.
i have had the same endocrinologist since i moved away from home to start college. that was five years ago. i have wanted a new one since the second time i saw her.
WELL: she is nice, but she looks at her computer, at my numbers, and makes her assessment of my person and capabilities based on that alone. i am not even certain that she would recognize me outside of the office.
i have been seeing her for five years!!
how is it possible that i have made NO CONNECTION to her?
she has had two children in the time i have been seeing her, and she has NEVER mentioned them. i only know because she was pregnant twice! it is as if our personal lives are not important in the office.
HIPPA? is that why?
maybe. if not, why is there no personalty exchange? no meaningful connection?
it’s not just her. when i go in there, i shut off too. it is so professional and business-y. i am so nervous and prepared to be scolded that i cower.
maybe, next time i go in to see her, i will march in there and tell her my story. I would start off by telling her this:
diabetes is this sacred thing, or event, rather, that changed the person i became. complete 360.
it is a huge part of my identity. … i know and am sensetive to the many PWD’s out there who say things like ‘i have diabetes, but it doesn’t own me, or define who i am, or keep me from being me’.
but diabetes IS built into my deepest intricacies. it is my greatest sorrow. my greatest strength. diabetes was my call to action. my source of isolation and then later, connection to community. i take from diabetes moments to laugh, cry, frown, smile, relax, barf, calculate, take responsibility, party, etc.
i am a PWD, I have diabetes, i am diabetic, i am a diabetic. i am chill with all levels of language.
i want my endo to know that i got ‘diabetic’ tattooed on my arm, as a move of self-empowerment, because before i accepted it into my identity that impulsive night, i wouldn’t let a soul get away with calling me ‘diabetic’.
i want her to know that i spend hours upon hours upon hours and more hours working out how diabetes affects my psyche, persona, and other inner-workings-stuff.
i want to tell her that i write a blog! that i work for the Diabetes Hands Foundation, and with UCSF on a study with teens with type 1! and that i started Beta Connect and insulliance and another mentoring program with JDRF that doesn’t have a name yet! I want her to know that i attend diabetes events more than every other weekend and that I say the word diabetes over 100 times every single day!
but most importantly, i want to tell her that i WANT my numbers to reflect my effort but for some reason that i haven’t figured out, they just dont.
i guess i never switched endo’s because i have always known that it isn’t just her. a new doc wouldn’t change my problem.
it is me. i walk in feeling inadequate. i act out inadequacy in person and behind the scenes. it must be apparent.
i feel like a fraud for doing so many diabetes things, while having never had an ‘adequate’ handle on it to begin with (physically anyway).
maybe i have not switched because the dynamic we have gives me an outlet of blame?
uhh, blogging makes the truth come out.
#DiabetesBlogWeek, you’ve got the magic.
maybe from and for an endo, i want care like a mullet… business in the front, party in the back.
let’s talk about numbers, but lets integrate and map the numbers to my journal, to my blog. guess what! the days i write are probably my best diabetes days. let’s talk about life and upcoming events in the community. let’s make eye contact at the diabetes events and recognize each other, say hello!
let’s accept that it is okay for me to be an active member of the community and not have it all worked out. let’s be a team.
let’s do this for real, with courage, teamwork, and intentionality.
i think i’m ready.
this post was in response to this 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.)