From Abby: Dr. Awesome.
Newly-minted as a nurse, Abby sees the health care system from a myriad of perspectives. Thankfully, today is about Dr. Awesome.
There is often a lot of talk in the Diabetes Online Community about health care professionals. We deal with them on a regular basis, and we deal with quite a variety of different providers - so I'd say our opinions are valid when it comes to ranting about or praising HCPs. As a newly-licensed Registered Nurse, I take everything that I read and hear into consideration as I begin my own journey in this field, as someone who will (hopefully) have her own set of patients some day as a Certified Diabetes Educator (hello life goal).
That being said, I talk about my own providers as much as everyone else. I've encountered some nasally sensitive lab techs, and some doctors at conferences that like to put everyone on pills no matter what their test results. Fortunately, as far as my own physicians go, I've got an arsenal of excellent people on my team. (Seriously, my ophthalmologist calls my retinas "beautiful" - and he wears cartoon ties.)
Principally, my endocrinologist. She is everything I want in an endo AND she emails me. WOAH.
When I first transferred to Dr. Awesome's practice from my pediatric endodrinologist at a large hospital, I went to her purely because her office was closest to my house. I didn't do any research; I didn't try different doctors. My first A1c with her was in the 10s (so she says, I don't recall this at all - ignorance is bliss I suppose, and college was rough for me). Needless to say, we didn't see eye-to-eye those first few visits. Dr. Awesome put me on an upgraded Medtronic pump (I had been wearing mine for over five years), and started in with her plan of attack, or so I assume.
Long story short, within a few years, a lot of hard work, and an awakening from going to Clara Barton Camp and realizing diabetes was something to embrace and not avoid, my A1c has now been under 7% for over a year (I'm not bragging, seriously - I have only myself to take care of and a ton of free time and get really lucky at carb guessing), I'm wearing a Dexcom almost all of the time, and I feel great.
The point of this whole story, is that sometimes it can take one bad apple to ruin the taste of the pie - er, one bad HCP to ruin our image of doctors? But there are a plethora of helpful, caring, patient, and understanding professionals in this world that really do worry about us. Case in point, an excerpt from the email I just received from Dr. Awesome, in response to me thanking her for dealing with my new hypothyroid diagnosis from four hours away:
"Please give some heads up when you are in town so that I could arrange patients and get you in. I don’t want you to feel you are hanging out there doing this on your own ... Hope to hear from you soon. I am in the office several days over the Christmas holiday week if you want to try and come in then."
So if you have a doctor that makes you feel guilty when you admit to eating an entire cheesecake and dealing with the 350+ mg/dL blood sugars just because it was delicious, or a nurse that scowls at you when your A1c isn't under 7% - talk to your provider about how you feel, or keep searching and don't think they (we) are all like that. There is a Dr. Awesome out there for you too, I promise!
(Please note Dr. Awesome has no idea I'm writing this, and she probably doesn't even read this blog - I was just so freaking astonished at this email I had to tell everyone :) )
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Just like every patient, Abby has had really good, and some not-so-good experiences with health care providers. (Just like every HCP has had good, and not-so-good experiences with patients.) Do you have any "my HCP is awesome!" stories to share?