Wil Dubois

Here we are again with our weekly diabetes advice column, Ask D'Mine, hosted by veteran type 1, diabetes author and clinical specialist Wil Dubois.

Happy New Year's Eve tonight to all!

Today, Wil's sharing details about a new chapter in his personal (diabetes) life as we move into 2017.

{Got your own questions? Email us at AskDMine@diabetesmine.com}

 

A fistful of readers wrote: I read on your Facebook page that the clinic you’ve worked at for seemingly *forever* has kicked you to the curb. Those bastards! How could they? Didn’t they know who they had working for them? Are you OK? What are you going to do now? 

Wil@Ask D’Mine answers: First off, I have to thank everyone for the amazing outpouring of D-love and support. I was blown away by how many of you took the time to reach out to me by Facebook, phone, email, and snail mail. And how quickly the word spread! You are all fabulous and wonderful, and it was an awesome reminder to me that I am not alone in diabetes, but rather part of a strong and beautiful family.

But in the interest of journalistic accuracy (which is in short supply in our country), I have to point out that the new clinic management didn’t kick me to the curb. They only kicked me into the gutter. From down there I chose to make my way to the door on my own. I don’t want to re-live the details—I’m still recovering—but the short version is that my scope of practice, which had grown steadily over the nearly 12 years that I’d been there, was suddenly and drastically reduced to a humiliating and ineffectual level. Why? Did I kill someone?

Hardly. In fact, scores of people credit me with saving their lives.

No, it's just that there’s a new sheriff in town. And a bunch of new deputies. And they decided that the Wild West days are over. They decided that the letters that follow people’s names (denoting their various degrees) are more important than the knowledge in their heads or the skills in their hands. For what it’s worth, I wasn’t the only victim of this scorched-earth policy. It affected many members of the clinical staff. But in my case, I was actually removed from the clinical staff and relegated to a role in which I could do little to help my hundreds of patients.

A role so diminished that I wouldn’t even have an office to work out of.

Did they know who they had? I doubt it. My brand-new boss didn’t waste any of her time asking me about my experience or my expertise. It didn’t matter. She didn’t care. It was all about that "alphabet soup" behind the name. And mine wasn’t good enough.

Source: Matrix

But enough about that. Remember that old saying: When one door closes, another one opens? Well, the first door that opened—and opened wide—was the one right here at DiabetesMine.

You’ll be seeing a lot more from me here in the coming year.

I wouldn’t say that I’m fatalistic, but I do believe that many things—particularly BIG things—happen for a reason. For instance, my own diabetes diagnosis led me to a completely new life that’s allowed me to help other people with diabetes for many years. I figure that my job got flushed into the gutter so that I would be available to bring my experience, my voice, and my unique way of seeing things onto the big stage with greater force. And I feel good about that. Sure, I’ll miss working with diabetes patients one-on-one; but these are times of big change in our country. If ever there was a time to focus on the big picture, it’s now.

So that’s what I’m going to do.

Here at home, I’ll be focused on writing more. I’ll be watching, tracking, and reporting on the effects of politics and policy on the Diabetes Community. I’ll be raising alarms when they need to be raised, and leading calls for action when action is required. I’ll be researching new meds, testing and reviewing new gear, and—as always—replying to all of your quirky or potentially embarrassing questions, behind-the-scenes curiosities, lifestyle queries, or even ethical dilemmas related to life with diabetes.

Beyond our borders I have a new voice as well. The International Diabetes Federation has selected me as one of their Blue Circle Voices network, a group of 93 PWDs around the globe who will serve as ambassadors to the IDF from the patient community. I’m one of only 12 representing the North American Continent. Ironically, that appointment came the same week it was decided that I wasn’t qualified to help people within 500 square miles of New Mexico.

Not that I’m bitter about it.

Oh. Wait. Maybe I am. Just a little bit.

But the timing of all of this is fascinating to me. As this year draws to a close, so too does a chapter of my life, one that lasted half of my adult working life. Tonight the sun sets on 2016. When it rises tomorrow, it will be a new year. And for me, a new chapter in my life will start with the first rays of the sun.

I’m hardly alone. I think a lot of new chapters will be written for a lot of people this year. Political changes threaten our health like never before. Economic changes, especially the rising costs of medicines, pose new challenges. While at the same time technological innovations promise that a golden age of diabetes control is truly in our grasp.

Interesting times, to be sure. 

I’m excited, and I’m ready to start writing the next chapter of my life -- with you all along for the ride.

 

This is not a medical advice column. We are PWDs freely and openly sharing the wisdom of our collected experiences — our been-there-done-that knowledge from the trenches. But we are not MDs, RNs, NPs, PAs, CDEs, or partridges in pear trees. Bottom line: we are only a small part of your total prescription. You still need the professional advice, treatment, and care of a licensed medical professional.
 
Disclaimer: Content created by the Diabetes Mine team. For more details click here.

Disclaimer

This content is created for Diabetes Mine, a consumer health blog focused on the diabetes community. The content is not medically reviewed and doesn't adhere to Healthline's editorial guidelines. For more information about Healthline's partnership with Diabetes Mine, please click here.