It's D-Blog Week 2013! In its fourth year, this is a great "coming together" of the diabetes blogging community around selected topics of note to our community. The effort was spearheaded by Karen Graffeo of the blog Bitter-Sweet. You can learn more about this effort, and sign up yourself if interested, here.
There's a list of set topics to tackle each day this week, and for Opening Day today, we bring you:
To Share or Not to Share?
"Often our health care team only sees us for about 15 minutes several times a year, and they might not have a sense of what our lives are really like. Today, let's pretend our medical team is reading our blogs. What do you wish they could see about your and/or your loved one's daily life with diabetes? On the other hand, what do you hope they don't see?"
Let me start by sharing an anecdote. One of my sisters-in-law is a doctor. She cares for a patients post heart surgery, helping them adjust their lifestyles to maximize their health and quality of life. On our European vacation two summers ago, the two of us bonded as moms and ended up spending a lot of intense time together. I noticed how she watched me, albeit discreetly, at every meal, and especially when we were out and about trying to find a cafÃ© or restaurant that might -- please God! -- have something I could eat with my stupid gluten intolerance. I had to make the whole extended family change eating venues at one point, and I walked out of several cafÃ©s with tears of frustration in my eyes. She never said a word... until the very end of our two weeks together.
"Oh my gosh, Amy, I really didn't know..." she blurted out. "I have lots of patients with diabetes but I never saw how they had to test and deal with it in their daily lives... and I recommend to my patients all the time that they should try a gluten-free diet. I had no idea it was so hard!"
This is what I want to share with doctors and other healthcare professionals: YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT YOU DON'T KNOW.
I admire the training you got in medical school. That's an incredible accomplishment, and you certainly have medical knowledge that can benefit others. But when it comes to treating people who are LIVING WITH A CHRONIC CONDITION, I wish sometimes you would look past all that and "think with your heart" a little.
Imagine: what if it were YOU who had to go home with this pill / injection device / blood-pricking machine / restrictive diet and live with it every day? What challenges do you think you might face as you make your way through your workday, family dynamics, car troubles, grocery shopping and all the other mundane and unexpected things life constantly throws at you?
Hmm, things I don't necessarily need my doctor to know:
- that I rarely ever change my lancet
- that I generally never download my data till the morning of my appointment, and then of course don't have time to really look it over properly
- that I usually dose after the first bites go in (always afraid of the risks of pre-dosing!) and then do a lot of corrections throughout the day
- that despite your best efforts (I have a good endo), sometimes our appointments just serve to make me feel more helpless
- that I LOVE open-toed shoes and I go barefoot at home all the time. So there!
You can also follow the D-Blog Week chatter at hashtag #DBlogWeek.