Tag Archives: diabetes doctor

Wednesday Revisit: Diabetes and the Patient-Doctor Disconnect


Originally posted

September 9th, 2009

I was still reeling from my horrific hospital stay when my twins were born when I wrote this.  Luckily, I was level headed enough to write clearly and respectfully on what I believe is a patient-doctor disconnect.

Diabetes and the Patient-Doctor Disconnect

Why diabetics hate going to the doctor

“An apple a day” definitely doesn’t cut it.

I don’t know about you but, whenever I would  go to the doctor for a check-up of some sort I basically wanted to throw up.

It didn’t matter if my A1c had been great lately.  I’d be nervous and sick to my stomach with fear of test results.

Most days I’ve felt pretty positive about how my life as a diabetic is going.  Yet, those doctor visits seemed to pull me down and help me feel lost again.

This is all reasonably expected though.  What is sad is leaving the doctor’s office feeling just as bad as when I arrived.  I hate going to the doctor because my doctor doesn’t understand what I’m going through.  He/she doesn’t have a clue.  One third of us are dealing with diabetes in some way.  Some of us want the cold hard truth about how to stop our pre-diabetes.  Some are looking to control type 2 diabetes without insulin if possible.  And we type 1 diabetics are just trying to go an entire day without a high reading. 

Why can’t doctors really help us?

First of all lets debunk a myth.  Doctor’s don’t know it all.  They know what they are taught, first of all, and secondly, they know what they experience and learn along the way. 

They are taught less about diabetes than they are prescription medications.  So, knowing this, we have to hope they have at least deeply observed all of their diabetic patients and listened to them. 

I don’t know about you but, all the doctors I’ve been to don’t have much time.  I feel sorry for them.  They are forced to run from patient to patient and thus often say generic things like, “I’m going to prescribe you…” and “You should eat healthy and exercise more…” and “I want you to quit smoking”. 

Without much time to really talk to each patient a doctor cannot possibly fully understand the particular problem a patient has because often, there is a serious emotional/mental factor which is underlying a situation.  Maybe a patient can’t control their blood sugars because they are genuinely depressed.  Maybe a patient can’t control their diet because they are confused about which diet is the right diet to follow in the first place.  Maybe they can’t contol their blood sugars because they don’t believe it is their responsibility or that they have what it takes. 

I think many of us leave a doctor visit feeling disappointed.  I know I have.  That is why I took matters into my own hands.  I thought seriously about why this diabetes epidemic blew up and decided I needed to simplify my life and not do what everyone else was doing.  After all, “everyone else” is getting diabetes.  So I broke away from what was popular to do and have been much happier and healthier ever since.

You’ve probably experienced this in some way.  You did something different and felt special and lucky for having done so.  It’s time to try that again.  It’s time for all of us to quit hating doctor visits so much (we’ll probably always hate them to some degree but, I can promise you I no longer dread them so much and this can be you, too).

The first thing you need to do is educate yourself.  Then you need to discipline yourself.  Then you need to help your doctor help you

We’ll talk about all this in posts to come.  Stay tuned and let us know what you think in comments!  Do you handle doctor visits well?  If so, fill us in.  You don’t?  Tell us about it.  You’re definitely not alone.