Serving the individual: How much do doctors really know?

Serving the individual: How much do doctors really know?

You ever look up at the doctor's sign in a waiting room? I did today. And in English it said "Doctor's Office Center" and in Spanish it said, "Centro de Oficina Consultorios."

I was reminded of a friend of mine who said that when he goes to the doctor he literally tells them, "You're my doctor. You consult me and I choose whether or not I will take your advice." I never thought of it that way. This came up when we were discussing my involvement within the diabetes world and just how much there is out there.

Among those things is confusion. Mad confusion. I'm going to put this all out there because I can.

So I started taking a new particular kind of hormonal medication. I had been on a different one for years and it got too expensive for me, so I asked for something different. Within the first few days of being on the hormone, my body went all out of whack. I didn't know what was going on.

I called the doctor and spoke to her nurse. Not only did she say everything I was going through could be normal in my body with the introduction of a new hormone, but she insinuated that I didn't know how to take care of my diabetes. I let her have it. You don't insult me by telling me my blood sugars (A1c) was too high at a 6.6! When she said that, I said, "I'm diabetic! Anything between a 6 and 7 is great, for your information!" I almost had to give her a diabetes lecture 101.

I said I would wait to talk to my endocrinologist. I visited her last week. I sat in the room and waited for her. When she came in, the first thing she asked was, "Have your sugars been much higher than normal?" Uhhh... The last three weeks have, why? My A1c had shot up to a 7.4. What?! How could that happen?

So I told her the story about the hormone. I told her about the nurse and about how my body was crazy and I had been adjusting my insulin so that I could lower my levels. I almost started crying. I told her, "You know I've been working hard. You see my numbers, you see the progress I've made. It doesn't make sense for it to go up that much."

So she told me that since she doesn't prescribe the hormones, I should talk to my other doctor. Here we go again. So I talked to her the same night and the first thing she tells me is, "Your A1Cs have been the same for the last few years." And I objected: "No, the last time I had it checked it was at a 6.6 and now it's at a 7.4!" And you know what the doctor tells me? "That's not a big jump."

I don't know about anyone else out there, but do you know how HARD it is to get it down? Do you know how hard I've worked? I get made fun of at work for eating carrots and hard boiled eggs, running and working out. Why would I ruin it?

So the doctor told me to just stop the meds and I told her I would. I had to explain to her how every body is different when she kept insinuating that it couldn't be the drug that made my A1c jump. I said, "You know what? My friend was on the same hormone I was on before and she gained a lot of weight. I know these things react differently within each person's body." She said I was right and told me to just stop taking it. Easy as that, right? But I was at a loss for thought. I still wasn't relieved.

In the end I realized that it was true. What my friend had said was very true. They're consultants. They don't know me, my body, my habits. They're not there with me every day. But why don't they try and why can't doctors ever be on the same page? This is what bothers me.

I have insurance and I go to a hospital to get treatment, but what about all those people who don't and have to go to small clinics without specialists and on top of that, don't ask any questions?

My mom and friends said, "Well, just stop taking the other medication. That's that." Yeah, I get that. My problem is solved, but I wanted some other relief and what I think I was looking for was hope that these doctors cared enough to talk through the problem, but they weren't. They're there to solve the problems, right? But not talk them out. As Latinos, I feel we need a relationship with those who are telling us what to do with our health. I can hear it now, "They don't know me. They don't know."

And you know what? You're right. They don't.

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    As a person with Type 1 diabetes for the last 20 years of her life, Christina or "Kiki" for short, decided to take it upon herself to write about her findings, experiences and struggles with her disease. Her inspiration to educate people about all types of diabetes can be found communicated in this blog.

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