March 16, 2014

Do You Love Insulin?

Type 2 diabetes and insulin go well together when needed, but I certainly do not love insulin. Yes, I advocate for insulin use because it is generally not prescribed except as the medication of last resort. Many doctors also use insulin as a threat telling their patients that they have failed in their management of type 2 diabetes. The last time I had a doctor tell me that he wanted me to go back on oral medications, I said no way doc and left.

In the months since, I have talked to two other people with type 2 diabetes and both have similar experiences of having been intimidated by their doctor to stay on oral medications. The one woman was beside herself because she had lost weight and increased her exercise regimen, but her blood glucose levels continued to rise. When I met her, she was having trouble obtaining readings below 200 mg/dl. As we were talking, I saw Brenda and asked her to come over.

After introductions, I had the person tell Brenda what had happened. Brenda spoke up as I knew she would and was very explicit about her feelings toward some doctors. Brenda asked where she was seeing her doctor and asked if she would consider changing as she felt her doctor was good and that the endocrinologist I was seeing would be a good fit for her. After finding out where each doctor was located, she decided to start with the doctor Brenda was seeing.

Brenda said she had one more thing to purchase and then she would accompany her to her doctor and attempt to get her an appointment as soon as possible. I said good, as she needed to get her blood glucose levels down quickly. We continued to talk while Brenda finished her errand. I told her to make sure she obtained her telephone number to ask her questions. I said she may also give you her email address and information about our support group and I gave her some information about that.

When Brenda was finished, she asked where the person was parked and said since it was close she could ride with her and after she had obtained an appointment, she would bring her back to her car.

About 15 minutes later, I received a call from Brenda to inform me that the doctor was seeing her then. Later Brenda called again and said she had Allen and several others meeting them where I had introduced the person to Brenda and I was invited. We had an hour of discussion about insulin and she had had an injection while seeing the doctor and would wait without food for four hours and take another reading to see what her blood glucose level was. Then she would call the doctor. She would then be given another dose to inject herself. She would also be given an insulin to carb ratio to start with.

Allen said good, this was a good way to learn what her ratio was and not to have a snack while she was waiting. We nicknamed her Susan after Brenda said she would be at our next meeting. Susan said she was fairly proficient with carb counting and this would help in getting used to insulin.

Tim arrived then and after introductions set his laptop up and asked for her email address. Susan looked alarmed and Brenda said it was okay as this was the way we stayed in touch and it was only for our use and not for sale. If she joined our group, she would be given notice of all meetings and if she could not attend one meeting, she would receive a summary of the meeting. Those were normally done anyhow, but it was one thing that seemed a good reminder of the discussion.

Then Brenda said you would also be given the emails for all members and the URLs for good reading about diabetes, if you are interested. Then Brenda pointed at me and said this is the blogger of our group and you will be given the URL for his site. Brenda then said I don't read every blog, but I do read more than I tell him. Susan asked, you write about diabetes? I said yes, and related topics you may or may not have an interest in exploring.

At that point, Susan asked if anyone read the blogs by Tom Ross and Tim said most of us do and Bob also has lists of other type two bloggers and pulled up the first list and then the second and rest of the lists. Then Susan asked why she had not seen one blogger, and Brenda stated because she has type 1 diabetes. Brenda continued that we read many other blogs, but Bob only lists type 2 bloggers. Susan asked if we participated on any of the diabetes forums. I said we have, and once I have your email I can send you a list of those that I am aware are active.

Susan said that was not necessary as she had five currently. Brenda and Susan both said they needed to head home and Brenda said to call after she had talked to the doctor and that once she had the list of members with emails and phone numbers, any of us could also answer questions. Brenda thanked me for having brought her into the discussion with Susan and Susan echoed that. Tim, Allen, Barry, and I talked a little longer and then headed for home.

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