Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Dorky Reader Mail!

Hello fellow d-bloggers and readers! It's not every day I get reader mail, and this particular reader has a question, so I thought I'd give everyone out there (myself included) a chance to support a fellow person with diabetes. I've edited it a tad for space, but here goes nothin':

"I am recently diagnosed Type 2-- I need some advice.

...I was doing great with dietary changes...no meds needed.

But then things changed... diabetes "nurse police" wanted me to participate in a study of compliant ones, people like me who were doing everything the way they wanted. They would call even on Saturdays. I think that is what started me on the defiant path-- them chasing after me to be a study participant...I think I am still a bit of a non-compliant teenager!

One of the nurses laughed when I told her I was in training for a 2-mile walk for a humane society. Imagine being laughed at.

That was it for me.

Am forcing myself to get a dr. appointment soon-- haven't checked my BG in a year, or been back to the clinic-- in a year! I know!

I ask you, someone half my age, about this because you have a sense of humor like I do. ***And I suspect you have good advice.***

Any ideas as to why I am not being compliant?

Any tips on how to deal with the doctor? Tell him I was abducted by aliens? Tell him that I like myself being so sweet and didn't want to become less sweet? LOL!"

The first thing that came to mind after reading this was, "What kind of medical professional actually laughs at you for wanting to exercise?" I mean, maybe this nurse is some kind of uber-jock who thinks it's hilarious that one would need to train for an itty bitty 2-mile jaunt. Still not everybody has great knees, lungs, or muscles. We're not all distance walkers/runners. Your medical professionals, in my opinion, should know this is nothing to laugh at.

Definitely get yourself to a doctor who you trust. You need a doctor who can really listen to what you have to say. I also think it's great to have a doctor who understands that you're not a perfect patient. Many of us have trouble trying to balance our normal lives with our diabetes lives. So maybe you didn't know the exact carb count of that donut you ate at the breakfast meeting...what do you think will cause more damage: the fact that a cruller might make your blood sugar high if you didn't cover it correctly, or the guilt you'll lay on yourself for the rest of the day about how you "never do what you're supposed to do"? Me? I can test later and correct for my mistakes with insulin. The guilt will carry over for probably every carb you ever look at ad nauseum.

As for what to tell your doc, I'm not sure. I'm an advocate for being as honest as possible. If the reasons you haven't been taking better care of yourself are completely unrelated to your diabetes, say so. Stressful events at home or work? Let them know about them. Don't use them as excuses, but do let your doctor know you'd LIKE to be treating yourself better, and that you'd love to have a great A1c, but you feel like something is holding you back.

And if necessary, go to someone who isn't your doctor for some diabetes management help. Maybe there is a diabetes management program near you where a CDE (certified diabetes educator) can help you out. This is why I talk about Gary all the time--the advice he gives me and the patience he has for me is immense and helps me tremendously.

I think a lot of us end up "noncompliant" by nature. The repetitive details of our daily diabetes routines wear us down. Sometimes, you just need to take a break before you lose it. Some people can go on a break for a few days, then get it back together. Some people take a break, and it will take quite some time to get into the swing of things. Honestly, that's where I am now.

College and the couple of years after were a big break for me, and I've fallen into some habits I'm not too proud of. I started this blog. I enlisted as much help as I could, and it's a slow re-learning process.

I think the key to becoming "diabetes compliant" or whatever you may want to call it is to simply take it one day at a time. Push yourself to form some new good habits; however, personally, if I try to do too much at once, I feel a bit overwhelmed, and then I get upset at myself for not being able to achieve what should be completely reasonable goals. Find out what goals are reasonable for you. Build up from there.

And most of all, find a great support system. The Diabetes OC and sites like dLife and TuDiabetes have become invaluable tools for me to vent, to make friends, and to find that I'm not as different or noncompliant as I think I am.

Fellow readers and folks with the Big D, now's your chance to sound off! Help a reader out!


  1. I think your thoughtful response is perfect. I'm impressed by your step by step ideas for your reader.

  2. I think maybe part of the problem was doing EVERYTHING and getting it all right. Now you know your blood sugar might not be perfect and that's hard to face up to.
    But if you accept that you're not perfect and your blood sugars will be better if you do part of what you need to do, then it's easier to work on them.
    Like if I checked my blood sugar and it's 220, I take some insulin (you could exercise or something) and go, see it's better than it would have been had I done nothing. Y'know, then maybe it would have been 320, or it would have stayed 220 longer. It can always be worse, until I'm dead. And I'm not dead yet!


Remember to use your commenting powers for good, not evil. Excelsior!