Monday, July 26, 2010

Dear Doctor Rob...

In response to this post, here are my thoughts as a person with a chronic disease (in no particular order):

  • At 12 years old my life was changed forever. My parents and I joined a club with a lifetime membership and no option to cancel. I also got to see doctors as the fellow soldier in my battle rather than a demigod in a white coat. But I would rather have that seasoned veteran with a wary eye for me and my health at my side.

  • I have no pride when it comes to my body. Open my veins, probe my insides, shine lights in my eyes and stick pins in my feet. I will endure it all. I will willingly submit to what many healthy patients will not. I will abide, and rarely will I complain. I still remember the days before, and how very sick I was. There is little I will not do to permanently avoid feeling that way again.

  • I will need you to fight for me when it comes to the health care system. I am not seeing doctors to cause problems for others trying to access resources. I do my best to stay away and only come to you when I know I need your help. But the system of prescription renewals, insurance plan denials and limitations on care is a formidable enemy sometimes. Help me by coming to my aid.

  • I have learned more about my diabetes over the last 27 years than many patients, but I still don't know it all. You know so much more about the human body than me, and what things I should or should not worry about. I trust you to be my guide. I will do my best to understand the most complicated explanations, and ask you relevant, concise questions if I do not. But I am patient with not knowing why, and will try to accept what I cannot change.


Dr. Rob said...

Very good.

I don't try to manage the diabetes of my type-1 DM patients, I try to give them every tool possible for them to manage it themselves. That doesn't mean that I am not active in the care, but I realize that a well-educated and enabled patient is far more likely to do well than is one who I am trying to micro-manage.

I greatly prefer patients to be asking questions and giving me their opinion. It's even more important in a disease like Type 1 DM.

Michael Hoskins said...

Great post, thanks for sharing your perspective! I've had my share of Endos through the years, too, and most have been pretty good as far as communicating and working together as a team.. but did have an experience with my current Endo a year or so ago (about two years into seeing her) that helped us both better see the other's perspective and realize we both need the other. That was a welcome discussion! Anyhow, thanks for this post and I'll look forward to seeing you around the Diabetes Online Community.