Beginning of the End(o)

This week my endocrinologist is transitioning to a different medical office which is, realistically, too far away for me to travel to for future appointments.  This endo not only is a kind, non-judgmental doctor, but in my head she is dubbed as the “Basal Insulin Wizard.”  She has a knack for knowing which little adjustments need to be made to prevent or to fix huge problems.  She also deals with an inundation of emails in her inbox, mostly from me.  I pride myself on being an engaged patient, but I also understand that doctors do not have much time in the day to get everything done for every patient.

A few months ago I asked her, “Do your other patients email you like this?”

“Not really…” she replied.

And then we both had to take a moment to compose ourselves through a mutual fit of giggling.  Without saying much, we both totally got it.

I am intense in my emails, but I am also fighting for my health.  I appreciate a doctor who recognizes that and works with me.  Current Endo has done that, and I will miss the comfortable relationship we have built over the past few years.  Her new patients are blessed to have her on their team.

So, what am I going to do now?

I’ll tell you what I should have done: started searching for a new endo a few months ago when I was first told of Current Endo’s impending departure.  She gave me a few recommendations for a new endo at that time, and my nurse proclaimed, “If I were a type one diabetic, I would definitely get treated by _____!”  Naturally, I should have then booked an appointment with Endo _____.

But I didn’t.  Perhaps it was a bit of diabetes burn out, and I must now own that.  Perhaps it was a bit of denial that Current Endo was leaving.  Perhaps it was the fact that from a practical sense, I am tired of commuting many hours roundtrip for my diabetes care, albeit I feel strongly about the top-notch care I receive in Boston.

All I can do now is make a plan.  I will pick up the phone and schedule a new endo appointment this week.  Diabetes doesn’t take a vacation, and it certainly doesn’t care that my endo is switching offices.  I will rely heavily on my nurse during this transition period while I wait to meet my new endo.  This situation makes me so thankful for a nurse who is willing to put in the extra effort to help me to stay well.  She will rise to the occasion, and now I must do so, too.

New Endo will not replace the relationship- and possibly not the same skills- as Current Endo represents for me.  And that is okay.  People are inherently different in their attributes, and I am optimistic that whatever my relationship may become with the New Endo, it will be its own unique entity with positive results.  I must be thankful for the calm guidance of Current Endo, and I will remember her for that.

Warming up to New Endo may take some time.  I am a patient highly involved in my own care, and I’ve also made many major changes in my courses of treatment this year (Dexcom CGM, returning to multiple daily injections versus insulin pumping, and taking much larger insulin doses).  This is a lot of information for all of us to process, and sometimes the road may not be free of bumps.

For now, we’re just going to ride with it.

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If Beauty & The Beast participated in #SpareARose…

If you want the emotional side of why I think #SpareARose is such an important advocacy endeavor, please see here.

One more emotional plea for good measure: Ketones suck.  They shouldn’t exist; no one should have to endure that level of discomfort and danger.  Thinking of little kids across the globe suffering ketoacidosis while waiting for life-sustaining insulin that may not get there in time- well, it just gets to me.  It’s not fair.  Even if we can’t remedy their suffering overnight, it is our moral obligation to do what we can here and now to help them.

On the lighter side of things, I’ve been thinking a bit about Disney.  What if Beauty & The Beast had spared a rose?  They would have cut to the chase with living happily-ever-after a lot quicker, and they would have also spared us that annoyingly-catchy Gaston pub crawl song.  (Sorry it’s stuck in your head now).

Since we can’t rewrite a Disney film, let’s spare the rose for them now.  Let’s chase these ketones away from people who do not have the blessings of accessible insulin that many of us have each day.  We know how hard diabetes can be, even with various sophisticated tools of the trade available to many of us.  Imagine not even having the bare minimum in treating diabetes.  In 5 seconds with a few clicks of a mouse and $5 donated, we can give those less fortunate than us a chance at their own happily-ever-after’s.

Please spare what you can: the cost of your morning cup of coffee, a movie ticket, your favorite type of ice cream.  However you choose to find ways to give, please #SpareARose this February.

Thank you