May 8, 2015

Doctors Instill Fear of Insulin

The word insulin for most doctors is not a word they want to hear. They threaten patients with it to convince patients to stay on oral medications. They, the doctors make it sound like insulin is a punishment for failing on oral medications. Then they stack oral medication on top of oral medication. This causes many patients to conclude that when they are required to use insulin that they have failed and this is their punishment.

I am not totally sure why these doctors have to bully patients this way, but they do. Is it because of their lack of knowledge, or their fear of hypoglycemia that drives these actions? I have known two doctors that have been this way and thankfully, they were not my doctors. One has passed recently and the other retired recently, but they both cringed when anyone mentions insulin to them. I finally told the one just to think of me as a person that required insulin.

And many people listen to these inept doctors when they should know better. Insulin is just another tool in the arsenal for managing diabetes. Two weeks ago, I finally had a doctor, who is not my doctor fortunately; ask if I had failed in my efforts to manage diabetes. My hackles went up and I asked him what he meant by the statement. He said obviously I could not manage my diabetes on oral medications and so needed insulin.

I know he was not prepared for the tongue-lashing I put on him, but I would do it again and probably do it more forcefully. I did tell him that only doctors fail, as they do not understand diabetes and are so afraid of hypoglycemia that they forget about the oral medications that can cause it. Doctors also fail because they are afraid to acknowledge their lack of information about insulin. Insulin is an important tool in the management of diabetes and because doctors leave insulin as the medication of last resort, they often do immeasurable harm to patients.

Things went from bad to worse and the doctor reminded me that he was the doctor and I should not talk to him that way. I said he should not admit he was a doctor when he uses statements like he did. I told him that his pedestal was broken and he had better step off it before it broke under him. I ended the conversation by stating I put my pants on the same way he did and I did not respect doctors that were bullies.

I had not noticed Sue come up behind me until she suggested that we keep our voices down. Then she turned to the doctor and asked him why he needed to be a bully and always put patients down when they were on insulin. She said that was very unprofessional and he should be ashamed for acting that way. She continued that most of our support group used insulin and they are doing well.

Then she took my arm and moved me away as she told me to ignore the bully. When she had me out of range and around a corner, she explained that she knew the doctor and was happy that I had stood up to him, but too many people were trying to listen and she felt that I should be moved away from him. I thanked her and we went our separate ways.

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