May 10, 2014

Why Are Elderly with Diabetes Discriminated Against?

When one of our support group members told me about his being cut loose by his doctor because of his age and A1c, I was going to vent and write a non-complementary blog about doctors. Now that I have had a few days to cool down and read a couple of other blogs, I know what needs to be said.

Allen had an A1c result of 5.0% and being on insulin, his doctor went ballistic and said he was no longer a patient. That A1c converts to an average blood glucose reading of 97 mg/dl. Allen showed me that he only had two readings below 70 mg/dl, one of 68 and one of 66 mg/dl. He had many readings for the last three months between 80 and 115 mg/dl, but only one reading at 129 mg/dl. Allen is on a low carb – high fat meal plan and has medium protein as part of the meal plan. He does eat a lot of self-caught fish and he does eat other purchased fish.

His doctor did not believe his meter readings and asked where his second meter was to be able to download that. Allen has a very good attitude and replied, “What you have is what you get, there ain't no more. If Dr. Bernstein can do this as a type 1, why can't I as a type 2?” For someone that was interested at one time on going back to oral medications, I don't think we could convince him to stop insulin now. He has even stated this to us, and said when he has problems or memory lapses, he will consider it then.

He is about five pounds under weight and says this is where he feels best and exercise is what he does to keep it there. We are all hoping he can find another doctor, but he does not seem concerned at this time. He says if he needs to rely on his VA doctor, so be it. He has mentioned Dr. Tom, but seems in no hurry.

This is an overt discrimination of the elderly to my way of thinking. Even I am considering a change now as my doctor has been asking me to raise my A1c to above 7.0%. We know what the doctors are afraid of and that is hypoglycemia. Never mind that we are managing our diabetes. I have a long way to improve mine to be at the level Allen is maintaining. In addition, I have more medications and other health problems of high blood pressure and cholesterol which are managed by medications.

Many of our group are concerned now and wondering why doctors have a difficult time assessing us properly and treating us accordingly. I won't use the person's name, but one of our members said that it may be because we are elderly and no longer contributing to society that they don't like us to be concerned about our health. He continued, they wish we would quietly die.

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