I recently had a conversation with my consultant's secretary that left me so annoyed, I had to wait until I calmed down to write about it. I'm sharing this experience because the medical professionals can very often have a negative impact on a person with diabetes and we need to rise above this temptation to "lash out" at them by hurting ourselves.
So on Thursday, 27 May 2010, I received a phone call from the secretary at my endocrinologist’s office. And it went something very close to this;
Secretary; “Grainne, I’m calling with your fasting bloods results.”
Me: “my what? The bloods weren’t fasting- do you mean my HbA1c?”
Secretary: Your Hb mm… yes. The result is 7.0 and the Dr. says you have to do better.
The conversation continued for a couple more minutes and I was polite and civil because I knew the secretary was just doing what she was asked to do - blindly.
Firstly, how do you react to being told that “you have to do better”, when you think you’re doing everything you possibly can to begin with. Being told this makes me feel like having diabetes is all my fault, and that I’m clearly not managing it very well so again that must be all my fault too. It also made me want to head straight for that chocolate tin or the pint of ice cream.
Secondly, why I ask the secretary how I should do better, what do you think her reply will be. Yes, instructions about my diabetes management should come directly from my endocrinologist and not from someone who isn't qualified to answer follow up questions. Afterall, that's what I'm paying for (yes this is the private health system I'm talking about).
And thirdly, how am I supposed to do better with a one sentence instruction? This doctor gives no specific instruction other than to have lots of bananas. Dr. X doesn’t talk about carb counting, sliding scales, insulin to carb ratios, testing or anything useful. I need a conversation on how I can do better that offers me options and realistic goals.
I think it’s time that I said to my endocrinologist that she should do better – I am paying her €100 per visit and maybe it’s time she earned it. Maybe, it’s time that she trained her staff appropriately too. And while I’m at it, maybe it’s time she acquired some better time management skills instead of taking patient phone calls during consultations.
I should give my hubby a break and direct my rantings and ravings at the person responsible for them.