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.