July 6, 2011

How Would You React - P1

NOTE: At request of the parents, no names are being used.

Why all the excitement about a blood glucose meter reading? Oh yes, it is just a number, but those of us with diabetes just happen to live with numbers and by the numbers it does mean something. Should we be upset when someone asks about a number when they see us testing? Many seem to get hyper about it. Yes, many get tired of the diabetes police and related reactions for good reason. Some people are just too nosy for our liking, but what the hey – we have to live too.

Granted, I will probably never be in a similar situation, but over a month ago now, I was at a local restaurant with a fellow type 2, and I had a person at another table asked me what my number happened to be. I had not even noticed them watching me. Since I am not bashful, I said what it was. Turns out that the mother was using this as a teaching moment for her daughter. She apologized for asking, but explained that her daughter of 12 had just been diagnosed that morning.

So for about the next hour, we talked about diabetes and what the meter meant to us. The daughter had been diagnosed as a Type 1, so they were thinking I had to be a Type 1 since I used insulin. After a little explanation, they were full of questions about the differences and why some people seemed so secretive and others like myself just did what I needed to do and went on living.

Granted most of the questions were about Type 1 and if there were similarities between the two types. I found out that they had just been to the endocrinologist. I asked when their next appointment was and was told they would be seeing the CDE and nutritionist the following day. So I answered the questions I could to the best of my ability and said that they should write them down so they could ask them again for the right answer just in case. The daughter reached into her school bag and got a pad and pen and started writing and I think this is key – without being asked.

It was most unfortunate or fortunate depending on how you view it that the next day we both came into the hall outside of adjacent offices at the same time. The mother said hello and the endo asked all of us to step into the room and asked what had happened. The daughter said that she had been told by the CDE to limit her sports participation and not to be talking to people with Type 2 diabetes. The endo asked what sports she was involved in. The answer was basketball, softball and soccer and she was hoping to become involved in track – cross country running.

The endo said she would like to see her after she was completed with the dietitian as she wanted to discuss the pump in light of this and she might delay putting her on the pump (and she has delayed it now). Then she asked the mother what books she was planning to purchase at the bookstore. She mentioned a couple of the books my friend and I had suggested and the endo said good, looked at me and said she was going to give her a couple of others to add to this and we left that meeting so the dietitian could start.

On the way out to get me set up for my next appointment, she commented that I had suggested the right books and she would recommend at least two more and possibly a third. As she prepared to leave, she said it sounds like you have a good grasp on most of the differences between the types and to keep it up. Well, I have a lot to learn yet, but at least I have not steered the mother and daughter wrong.

Since I thought that the mother and daughter would be delayed for at least an hour, I took time to do some shopping and then headed for the bookstore. They had finished early, and were there and had most of the books collected, but had not located two of them. Generally I don't like to loan from my library, but this time I volunteered telling them that it would help them decide which book would fit their needs on carb counting. They placed an order for the one the store did not have in stock and we left.

More in the next blog P2 of three.

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