Tuesday, October 16, 2012

You’re the Expert

So, I went to the endo on Friday.  For the last few years I’ve been doing well, so we agreed that appointments twice a year are fine for now.  Deep down I know I shouldn’t stress myself out before these appointments, but it never quite works.  I guess I’m always waiting for the other shoe to drop, for the bad news that things aren’t go so well anymore.  Pretty pessimistic, I know, but it’s the truth.

I was a little calmer this time, and my blood pressure reflected that, so yay!!  When Dr. F walked into the exam room, he had a little surprise for me.  My pump trainer (who I haven’t seen in about four years) happened to be there after the nurse handed him the data she downloaded from my pump, and they both were really excited by my CGM graph.  When I say “really excited” I mean they practically cheered and my pump trainer gave me a huge hug.  I knew my WILDfit training was really paying off when I saw the CGM graph - I need to keep in mind how stable regular exercise makes my blood sugars!

The appointment continued well from there.  All of my labs were perfect (cholesterol, kidneys, liver, etc.) and the mega-dose of Vitamin D I’m taking is finally started to bring that level up too.  My A1C has remained stable for almost three years now in the high 5 range.  My feet checked out fine.  I had my dilated eye exam two weeks ago and the tiny bleeds found four years ago are completely gone.  The only red flag was that I’ve gained some (more) weight, so we’re going to recheck for thyroid problems next time I have my labs done.

We did discuss some hills on my CGM graph at 3 a.m.  I explained that this had just been happening for the last couple of weeks, and that I did slightly raise my basal (by .025 units) at midnight to help offset it.  I said that while I still needed a small correction during some nights, I’m hesitant to change that basal too much because my overnight seems to vary quite a bit depending on the time of the month.  I prefer to correct as needed, rather than change everything only to be plagued by middle of the night lows in a week or so.  To which Dr. F said, quite sincerely, “Well, you’re the expert”.

Am I an expert?  I’m certainly not an expert on diabetes in general.  But when it comes to myself and how my body will likely react to any given diabetes situation?  Well yes, I probably have the best idea about that.  I responded that since people with diabetes do all of the day to day stuff, we need to be our own experts.  And I told him how the Diabetes Online Community plays such an important role in providing support and empowerment.  I can’t do it alone - I need the DOC and I need my medical team.  But I’m so thankful that my endo listens to what I have to say about my care and recognizes the importance of me being my own D-Expert.


  1. That's awesome!

    I was actually just writing a post about frustrations with a doctor doing an endo round not caring about my opinions. Hopefully other HCPs can learn from your endo.

  2. I love this post, Karen. We so undervalue how important exercise is for us, don't we?

  3. Congrats! Good news is always welcome... so happy for you!

  4. Glad you're doing so well. I finally got my A1c results (I had to call them) and it was .2 higher than the last time. I wish wish wish he'd let me try insulin for awhile to see if I can bring it down. The oral meds will only do so much it seems.

  5. Sounds like a wonderful appointment and all because you're a wonderful patient! Keep up your great attitude!

  6. So glad your nervousness was for nothing! And I think in the diabetes department, we are certainly the experts. Congrats on the great appointment :)

  7. Congratulations, Karen! It sounds like you had a truly successful and empowering visit to your endo. And, believe it or not, you ARE the expert on knowing what is most likely the best course for you to take, and how you feel about it!
    You go, girl!!!

  8. Sounds like you had a great appointment! I'm jealous of your A1C!! It's fabulous - you should be very proud!

  9. YAY KAREN!!!! so happy for your! great news that all your values are stack on! and with results like that, you are a motivation to people like me, who hate to exercise! i know i've said it before, (i'm a BIG procrastinator!), but i really do need to get moving. you've shown that it really does help with the bg's (and we all know that but still...), but some of us (read me), need to hear it again and again!!
    keep up the good work!


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