August 20, 2010

Why is this the message we are given when diagnosed?

Why are we letting them get away with doing this? Again, I need to bring in something Tom Ross has written about on his home page.

I quote: “The usual, depressing message about diabetes is sometimes tactfully disguised, but anyone who has been diagnosed with the disease soon learns to decipher it. The message is: "Give up! Resistance is futile. You are now in the grip of mysterious, uncontrollable forces, and there's nothing you can do about it. Please resign yourself to a life of helplessness, drug-dependence, disability, and early death. Have a nice day!"

Oddly enough, this message generally fails to energize and inspire people. In fact, once people realize this is the future that has been mapped out for them, they tend to become depressed and apathetic. The result is that a lot of people who have been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes fail to do any of the things that could improve the situation. They don't know, or don't believe, that there actually is anything they could do to improve the situation. And there might as well not be, if people don't try! A solution which people don't take advantage of is effectively the same as no solution. Therefore, there is an urgent need for patients to find out what they can do, and do it.Unquote. (My emphasis in bold)

While I do not always agree with the wording, the message is exactly right and is often the result of the medical profession not wanting to face the patient. Many doctors do not want to talk with the patient about this chronic illness that the patient now has. It is also because the medical professional does not know how to communicate or lacks the communication skills to explain the consequences clearly of not dealing with the chronic diseases – diabetes in this case. For a doctor's honest perspective, read this.

Often, the doctor does not have the time or resources to aid the patient. By resources, it needs to be understood, it is the trained people who can spend the time to get the patient off on the correct course of action to gain control of their diabetes. What even these doctors do not realize is how easy it is to recommend them to some people that are trained in this type of assistance. There is also websites on the internet that can be used to give them assistance or at least get them started.

Why then will they not use these resources? Often because they don't trust these sources and do not want to give their patients sources that may conflict with with what they want their patients to know. Some do not want to spend time answering what they consider silly questions. Other doctors do not like that fact that some, if not a good share, of the resources on line do not have professional degrees or are not operated by people with professional degrees. And regrettably some of the medical professionals just feel that they are the only source their patients need.

If you say, “not good enough”, then you are right. While almost all of the sources on line do say that for medical information that they should consult with their medical team or doctor, they do have much information that can take the fear out of their diagnosis, get them started in the right direction and maybe the biggest advantage is showing the patient that there is hope, and that there are others in the same or similar situations and that there is help available for those willing to be proactive in their care.

I feel it is important to say at this point that the doctor is not the person living with the disease (although some do have diabetes) and that this disease is your diabetes. You, the patient, are the person in charge, who with the doctors assistance can learn to control and even manage your diabetes to prevent it from progressing rapidly to the finality of the complications and that you can live a long and good life. The doctor is not the person taking the pills or injecting the insulin. They are also not the ones sitting beside you telling you what you can eat and what the effect will be if you do eat that.

They can advise you and keep tract of the HbA1c results to know how well you are or are not managing your diabetes.

Some doctors don't want you testing your blood glucose levels as they think this will only discourage you and not motivate you to do more to control your diabetes. So they do not give you a meter or prescription for one and the test strips. Bad move by your doctor. Ask for a prescription and don't be put off. If you can't get a prescription, consider this a clue that you desperately need a different doctor.

Your meter should be your best friend and it will tell you how the meal you just ate is affecting your blood glucose levels. This meter will also let you know if you either need to eliminate this food or reduce the quantity eaten.

For more information about the best methods and how to use your meter check out these blogs by Alan Shanley. SMBG means self-monitoring of blood glucose.

Blog 1, blog 2, and blog 3.

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