Tag Archives: endocrinologist

VLOG about Endo Visit


Some notes before you see this video:  I was SO nervous so you’ll have to forgive me for that.  On an interesting note, I wasn’t aware until I saw this video that a country accent is still clearly discernable even when I’m actively monitoring it.  Hmm. 

Also, at the end of the video I say some things that I’d like to say a little different here:

I think there are probably plenty of good doctors out there who don’t make eye contact or who aren’t very friendly.  We should probably cut them some slack.  I mean, I’ve been known to read people’s lips when they talk and I often forget to make eye contact myself!  So I think what is important is a doctor that you in particular can easily communicate with.  I’ve gone to doctors that other people “love” and left the office totally confused because I was not feeling the love at all.  Finding the right match is probably what is most important.  That and finding a doctor that doesn’t look at you like you’re crazy or arrogant when you show them you know a few things about your diabetes.  This doctor I went to today said, “The way you adjust your insulin sounds very good.  You’re intelligent, I like that!”  And honestly, If there is a best way to compliment me, that is it!

So with that clarification, here is moi:

How to be an expert on your diabetes (plus, awesome resources for diabetics!)


[picappgallerysingle id=”7282463″]         Master Your Diabetes


Here is a follow up to Why diabetics hate going to the doctor and to The professional diabetic.

We’ve established that we all need to be well educated about our diabetes.  So where can you find the right information? 

First off, it isn’t easy.  There are thousands of diabetes resources out there.  Here are the guidelines I’ve used to try to separate the good info from the bad info.

Educating yourself about your diabetes

First, begin with the basics.

You must have a pretty thorough understanding about the following:

Know how the particular insulin you use works.  Find out how long it lasts in your system, how heat affects it, and when it expires.  This information is in the literature that comes with your prescription.  Read it and if you don’t understand something, ask your doctor.

If you use a pump, make sure you understand everything about it.  If you have ANY doubts don’t hesitate to go to the maker of your pump (perhaps their website) and get the information you need.  You might even want to find a local insulin pump educator in your area who can meet with you and answer all of your questions.  You can ask questions on online forums, too.  Just be careful about automatically trusting any/every response you get.

Know your insulin/carb ratio. 

Mine for example, is 1 unit of insulin (humalog) per every 15 grams of carbohydrates.  If you don’t know your ratio call your doctor and work out a strategy to find out what it is.  Typically, the more you weigh and the less active you are, the more insulin you need but, we’re all different so when it comes to figuring out the right ratio for yourself, be careful and get guidance from your doctor.  No guessing.

Learn to count carbohydrates.

This is where a nutritionist or dietitian comes in to help you.  They can teach you all about portions and how to read nutrition labels and how to eyeball carbohydrate content in foods.  You can probably learn a lot about this online, too.  Check out this site and this one.

Know all about diabetes complications and the signs of those complications. 

This is scary but necessary.  Learn about these here.  Or here.  And don’t be afraid but do take the information seriously.  Diabetes is serious.  We can’t get around that.  We have to meet it head on if we want a fighting chance.  When I read this stuff I take deep breathes and take some notes.  Then I do something completely unrelated like listen to music or call a friend.   

Understand how physical activity, stress, and even your monthly period affects your blood sugars. 

Go to your doctor and ask about how each of these might affect your blood sugars.  For me personally (and you may be different), physical activity lowers my blood sugar and lowers my need for insulin.  Stress makes my blood sugars go up and makes me require more insulin.  PMS makes me turn psycho and makes me require more insulin and as soon as I start my period, I have to decrease insulin again.  But, that’s just me and all I can claim to know.  Yet, it helps me out so much to know this stuff about myself so if you don’t know yet, find out.  You’ll see better blood sugars!

Journal to understand your diabetes.

Write down in a journal what you eat, how much insulin you give, and your activities throughout the day.  Make note of major moments of stress or unusual symptoms.  Track what times of the day you have problems with blood sugars and track when you feel good versus bad.  Then after a month or two look back and note any trends you see.  You could show this to your doctor and see what you two come up with.  A wonderful place to to use as a resource is Livestrong.com.  You can register for free and keep an online diary that is truly handy.  It is called My Daily Plate and it lets you track what you eat throughout the day as well as how many calories you’ve consumed and burned.  You can use MyDPlate which will also allow you to track your blood sugars and units of insulin used each day.  You can keep this online journal private or make it public.  Mine is public in case you are curious about how it may look (although I just started so there are just a few days tracked).  To see what I’m eating and how much I’m working out just go to http://www.livestrong.com/profile/SysyMorales/.  Now if I eat a candy bar you can catch me in the guilty act. 

For some info about how I problem solve, read Diabetic troubleshooting method.

Once you know all of the above you can be much better at managing your diabetes and anticipating highs and lows in your blood sugar.  You will also feel more confident with your day to day decisions.  Don’t be afraid of learning all you can about your diabetes and remember that knowledge truly is power

As you learn you can ask your doctor specific questions instead of just telling him/her you don’t know why your blood sugars are high.  Doctors can’t help us much without enough information.  When you understand the basics about your diabetes, you have a much better chance at handling any issue diabetes throws your way.

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.

Things you need to make appointments!


     I keep a running list to remind me of appointments and reminders regarding my health and mostly my diabetes.  Here is what I do:

1. On a planner,calendar, or some kind of digital system, keep track of all doctor’s appointments-you don’t want to miss these. It is ideal you see your general practitioner or endocrinologist, a dentist, and an ophthalmologist at least once a year.  Depending on your particular needs you may need to see other specialists, too.  Write it all down so you don’t forget.

2. Also make reminders for yourself such as, “Call and schedule next appointment with endocrinologist”. Often, we forget to do this and finally when we remember, the doctor is unavailable for weeks or months at a time.

3. Check all the re-order dates on your prescriptions and write those dates down as well or have your phone remind you of them.

4. Make yourself notes on random days like, “Are you eating right?” or “How do you feel today?” or even, “Are you testing enough?”. It would be helpful to have a robot pop up every so often to ask us these helpful questions-especially since life tends to get real hectic sometimes. Since we don’t have that robot yet, write up these questions or have email reminders to catch you off guard and make you stop and think, “How AM I doing?” Life gets busy, try to outsmart it.

5. Another thing I do is make small notes about how I’m feeling. If I notice constant pain somewhere I make a note of it. Or I may track the number of days I go feeling a certain symptom. I do this because diabetes complications show up slowly and sneaky so bringing attention to tiny possible clues could make all the difference. The earlier something is dealt with, the better the outcome.  Plus, I figure it’s helpful to a doctor to be able to tell him/her how long a symptom has been going on.

Do this and don’t let your diabetes be forgotten!  Add any helpful tips you’ve got in the comments.