I had my 6 monthly check-up with a diabetic specialist today.
I say a diabetic specialist because, once again, it was a completely different person altogether.
Since my diagnosis as a Type 1 (insulin dependent) diabetic, back in 2003, I have seen several different diabetic “specialists” – all no doubt very highly qualified and all possessing their own unique take on the treatment of my condition.
The lady I saw today was one of the more engaging specialists that I have seen; young, confident and powered with an eagerness to help me manage my condition.
There was just one problem… my notes.
All that any new specialist has to work with are the notes left by their predecessors. Predecessors that cannot even agree on a diagnosis for my condition, let alone a treatment.
I take both subcutaneous injections of insulin and oral metphormin/glucophage tablets to manage my condition. The latter is predominantly used for Type 2 diabetics, as I carry extra weight around my middle; my metabolism is so poor as to prevent my body using the insulin that I inject well enough without the pills… just like Type 2 diabetics.
This is further complicated by my body’s lack of insulin. My pancreas packed in insulin production years ago… just like Type 1 diabetics.
So you can see where specialists get confused. There isn’t a Type 1.5, Type 3 or even some funky Type X that they can label me with.
But that’s the real problem isn’t it?
How many diabetics do conform to the text book definitions? We’re all unique as human beings.
Every specialist I have seen has a completely different take on the situation.
I even remember the one that re-branded me as Type 2 – just like that! His reasoning being that I am overweight and overweight people are Type 2 diabetics not Type 1. Not only that, that’s unfair, apparently I am too old to be Type 1, this chap believed that Type 1 diabetics were all diagnosed early on in life and not at 28 as I was.
The very next check-up I had, I saw a new specialist who said:
No! You can’t be Type 2, you take insulin.
You can probably see, now, why I am so frustrated with the situation.
Eight years on and I’m struggling to keep myself healthy.
Don’t get me wrong, the support infrastructure is there for me… it just doesn’t work.
How can I be expected to know what to do when the specialists themselves can’t even agree with each other?
The fact of the matter is, I’ve lost my faith in the Church of Pfizer. I was born and raised a scientist, albeit one with a firm belief in certain paranormal fields but a scientist none-the-less.
Church of Pfizer
Marketing Led Trust in Others
Even my GP and practice nurse disagree with the specialists – and I have far more faith in the doctor that I’ve seen for 10 years and the nurse I went to school with than the steady stream of people leaving medical school and progressing up the ladder.
I’ve asked time and time again to have my check-ups with the GP but the last I heard from him on the matter was a stern warning that my HbA1C had risen from 7.2 to 7.9 and that I should speak to my diabetic nurse immediately.
Well I spoke to my diabetic nurse today and she said 7.9 was fine. Of course I should aim to get it as close to normal as possible but 7.9 was nothing to lose sleep over.
Contrary to this, the practice nurse at my GP’s surgery took my blood pressure last week and recorded it as normal. We even talked about how this was never the case when I went for my hospital check-up. She laughed and said not to worry, a lot of people have bad blood pressure readings at hospital.
Sure enough today, my blood pressure reading was high enough that the specialist wanted to start me taking more sacrament from the Chruch of Pfizer – not to mention resuming my daily consumption of Atorvostatin to keep my cholesterol down; despite the risk of liver failure that accompanies the drug.
The justification for all of this was the stark warning of early mortality due to heart disease. A lengthy monologue on the dangerous combination of Diabetes, High Cholesterol, High Blood Pressure and a stressful working environment served to bully me into accepting medication that I have serious doubts over.
Cholesterol, Five Point Six
Bullied to Obey
Thankfully, she agreed to defer to my GP. My blood pressure will prove to be normal at the GP’s surgery and so that’s one less sacrament to minister to myself.
I know I’ll never be rid of diabetes; it is a life-long condition – it will kill me one day – the trick is keeping that day as far in the future as possible and balancing it with a reasonable quality of life.
All I want is to get settled back into a routine where my diabetes is in control so that I can concentrate on other areas of my life.
I’ve been at this for a month now, with a different appointment every week, each one resulting in more and more confusion and often in further appointments. There is light at the end of the tunnel but it is growing harder and harder to get by without blowing up at the confusion, stress and anxiety caused by it all.