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?
Diagnosed in adulthood, and having lived with type 1 diabetes for 6 1/2 years, I feel as though I’ve been on auto-pilot for roughly the last 3 years. I don’t really worry much about my diabetes, it is what it is and tomorrow is a new day. Still, there are times when it just creeps up on you in the slightest of ways and you’re overwhelmed before you know it.
Fortunately, I have a great endocrinologist, and although I only see him once maybe twice a year, I know if I need him, he’s there. I still get bloodwork 3-4 times per year, ordered by my wonderful primary care manager to keep myself in check, and she also will send prescriptions if I need them. I’m lucky.
Though, if my team could peer into my diabetes life, I think I’d like for them to live in my shoes for the 1,440 minutes in the day that I’m thinking about my what my blood sugar is and what it’s doing…where it’s going, so they could see and feel how all-encompassing and totally consuming type 1 diabetes is. Although I’m on auto-pilot, it’s auto-pilot with everything that type 1 diabetes management demands slipped in anywhere and everywhere possible.
I’d like for my healthcare team to manage their health with everything else that life throws at them daily. Consistently maintaining their blood sugars between 80-180 the entire day (and the extra effort if it ventures beyond those Dexcom lines), while exercising once and maybe even twice, commute to and from work in rush hour traffic, have a stressful day at work, then head off to a meeting outside of work, still cook three healthy meals each day, then change their infusion site before bed, only to find that the new site hurts, having to change it 2 more times. And still be mentally coherent and stable at the end of it all. I’d like for them to see that management requires so much that they do not realize, and can’t possibly imagine without having lived with the disease.
I can’t think of anything that I wouldn’t want my healthcare team to see. For those that don’t know me, I’m a pretty open book, willing to share and connect to possibly help anyone I can.