I’d like to get back into blogging again, but need a push. So, I’m thrilled that today kicks off the fourth Diabetes Blog Week, organized once again by Karen Graffeo of Bitter-Sweet. I’ve been participating in the annual event since its start in 2010, which occurred just a few months after my diagnosis. The week provided me with a helpful introduction to the diabetes online community back then and continues to offer an awesome forum for conversation and support.
For the next seven days, hundreds of bloggers will share their thoughts on a series of diabetes-related topics. Today’s prompt focuses on what we share with our health care team:
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?
Thinking about this topic, I had trouble coming up with one specific thing I wish my endocrinologist could see. Rather, I realized that I wish she could experience an entire day in my life with diabetes. There are issues that we talk about in my brief appointments – my challenges with lows during exercise, or increasing insulin needs in the morning – but these are just the things I bring up. The things I don’t mention are just as important.
These are the kinds of things my doctor might consider the “routine” of diabetes care – the blood sugar checking, carb counting, insulin dosing, and injecting. While these activities are everyday, they are far from routine, having to be adjusted constantly based on the activities of my daily life. Everything from stress to travel to working out can throw things off, forcing me to think on my feet and make educated guesses as I go.
Some days involve what feels like hundreds of diabetes-related decisions, each of which has physical, mental, and emotional components. Yes, mental and emotional. My days include a wide range of reactions, suited to deal with any situation my broken pancreas throws my way. The satisfaction of correctly guessing the number of carbs in a restaurant meal can quickly be replaced by the panic that accompanies a sudden low or the frustration of a stubborn high. Self-negotiation and encouragement are as routine as finger pricks.
It is impossible to convey these aspects of my daily life in a 15-minute appointment. Yet, they are a critical part of my experience with diabetes. If my endocrinologist could truly see what a day in my life is like, I think it would bring her understanding and ability to troubleshoot to a whole new level.