On February 5th last year, I had the worst medical appointment of my life. I had cut my trip to New York short to get back to LA and meet with a doctor. Since my primary care physician was out of the country, I met with a female doctor in the same office.
After spending the last week feeling scared and nervous, I was hoping to have a conversation about my diagnosis. Unfortunately, the doctor wanted no such thing. I was clearly upset and on the verge of tears as I tried to ask questions. She had no patience for me and said I would have to adjust to “this lifelong disease.”
The doctor left and sent her nurse in to do a finger prick. I remember the reading was in the 90s. (I also remember Cedars Sinai charged me $7 for it.) Then the doctor returned with a prescription for a blood glucose meter. She didn’t tell me how to use it and cut me off as I tried to ask questions again. She told me to continue taking Metformin, which I’d just started taking and was making me sick. She also gave me a referral for an endocrinologist, who I would later find out wouldn’t be able to see me for more than a month.
I held back tears as I left. The doctor probably spent five minutes with me total and made it clear I wasn’t important to her. She showed no compassion or empathy, and acted annoyed when I asked questions. She didn’t seem to think it was odd that a slim, healthy 26-year-old with no family history of diabetes had just been diagnosed with the disease.
I felt crushed and even more confused than I had been leaving urgent care a week prior. I decided not to get the blood glucose meter yet, but did begin researching endocrinologists in the area. I knew I needed to find a doctor who would listen to me.