On the popular TV show, Grey’s Anatomy this past week, there was a mention of diabetes. One that left me a bit flabbergasted.
Here is how the storyline went: There was a patient getting a surgery to have his tumor removed and during surgery they found a cyst in danger of rupturing on his pancreas. The surgeon called forth the person who the patient had listed as his emergency contact person, who just happens to be a surgeon (interestingly enough this surgeon married the patient just so he could have life-saving insurance). The doctor performing the surgery tells her, “We found a cyst on Henry’s pancreas that’s in danger of rupturing, removing it means removing a large portion of his pancreas, which would make Henry a diabetic. We didn’t discuss that possibility with him. Do you think that’s something he could live with?”
I slapped my hand to my forehead. Shish kabobs! Is this for real?
Since the lady surgeon/wife/emergency contact/decision maker for Henry didn’t really know him, she replied with, “I don’t know”. She gave the doctor performing the surgery to proceed as he saw fit and he removed the large portion of pancreas as needed to save the man’s life. Phew.
Does this happen in real life? Does anyone say, “No, you know what? I don’t think my dear [insert loved one’s name] could deal with being a diabetic.” When the alternative as I understand it is possible or sure death…why is this question asked by a surgeon to someone who may not even know about diabetes? I understand that they ask because in some cases people don’t have “a support system in place” to help them adjust to a new life as an insulin dependent diabetic, but, in most cases, people can take care of their insulin dependent diabetes all on their own no?
I’m still shaking my head no…no…this can’t be.
Ask me right now: “Do you think insulin dependent diabetes is something you can continue to live with?”
With my hand over my heart: “Oh my goodness, yes! Please!”