Had my latest endo visit earlier today, and BOY was it a doozy! Well, not really. I’ve never really been sure on how to feel about endo visits to be entirely honest. Before I took my nose dive into the T1 community, my endo visits didn’t really mean a whole lot to me. They were a thing I had to do every 3 months or so. Like getting my oil changed or tires rotated. A necessary inconvenience that I had to plan the rest of my life around because I HAD to do it. A1Cs, BG trends, insulin/carb ratios. I knew what they were of course but I was very much in the set it and forget it mind set. And by golly if it didn’t work for me. As A1Cs go I’ve been in the 7s for the majority of my T1 days. In the past year I’ve dropped down in the 6s and even made it in to the 5s a time or two. Now according to my endos, my numbers are great. My AIC from today seemed to confuse her however because apparently my BGs aren’t consistently within my targeted range. And while I thought I’d get yelled at for this it was the exact opposite. A direct quote from my visit today:
Doc R: You seem to be spiking up and down a lot but I can’t really argue with a 6.4 A1C. I don’t know what you are doing Walt but keep it up!
If’ only I knew Doc R. If only I knew.
Now I think I can guess what some of you may be thinking at this point: Well thanks for the update douche but I don’t care about your magical perfect numbers that no one can explain. I’m not trying to gloat or anything here people (I’m REALLY not). I just find it EXTREMELY frustrating that despite the supposed importance of these numbers that could influence my life in ways that I can’t even fully comprehend and all the yada yada yada and bullcrap bullcrap bullcrap that I keep hearing about BGs and A1Cs, I do the bare minimum and come out smelling like roses. While on the other hand I read about others getting a stern talking to for not taking care of themselves even though they are the ones counting all their carbs and working on their fitness and what not. It makes me seriously question the validity of a diabetic care system based solely on a bunch of numbers and how “good” and/or “bad” we are at meeting them. Personally, I’ve always hated math and to be defined based on a bunch of numbers is an algebra world problem I just don’t want to be part of.
Okay, so I’m not trying to start a betes revolution and have people boycott their endos and their meters. It’s just silly. What does your meter care if you don’t use it or not? AND secondly, endos can be a really great and valuable resource for when the D monster is being even more of a dick than usual. I suppose what I’d like to address in my perfect world where the things I say matter is the medical community and its heavy emphasis on numbers and how they can define us as Diabetics and, by inevitable extension, people.
From my joining of about a million T1 groups on the BookFace, I’ve noticed countless questions, comments, and rants all revolving around numbers and endos. Primarily revolving around how endos just don’t seem to get that sometimes the numbers just don’t add up. Try as hard as many of us might (dieting, exercising, counting the flip out of every carb that passes our lips), our A1Cs and BGs just aren’t the best representations of our efforts to stay as healthy as possible. Hell, I honestly can’t remember the last time I counted carbs and actually am considering going back and getting educated on it. And yet despite my lacksidasical approach to my T1, why am I considered to be a “good” diabetic because my numbers happen to fall within an agreed upon “healthy” range whereas others who put in all the time and effort and still manage to fall short are scolded for “not taking their diabetes seriously”.
I think all the endos of the world really need to get their shit together. From what I’ve been reading in my FB groups there are no two endos who seem to agree upon which numbers we should be shooting for. Some think that A1Cs should be under 6 while others say that anything in the 5s means you are irresponsible and even threaten to take your driver’s license away. Some say 150 is within range and others say that it’s WAY too high and should be avoided so you don’t lose a foot or go blind in your 40s (I WISH I was exaggerating). What’s a T1 to do when the Endos can’t even agree?!?!?
Yes I know betes, T1 style, is as varied and complex as the persons who have it but that doesn’t mean Endos can pick and choose the kinds of hoops they make us jump through all on their own. And THEN have the audacity to expect us to meet the standards of what their hypothetical “good” diabetic is supposedly like. Especially when they made this perfect number having person up in the first place. Is it really all that hard to take the time to listen to us every once and a while? Okay it actually might be. Not too sure what an Endos day is like but if it’s anything like an episode of ER they see some shit on the daily (Did any of you see that one episode where a guy drove a tank into the ER!?!?! A FUCKING TANK!!! Damn, that was a good show). Is being treated like a grown up human being person and not scolded like a child that’s eaten too much Halloween candy really too much to ask for? We aren’t just a set of numbers that you punch into a calculator. And we certainly are much more than just “good” and/or “bad” at being diabetic. WE ARE PEOPLE DAMMIT!!!! We have other things going on besides our T1. Maybe you’ve heard of them. They’re called lives.
Anyway I guess my point is that I think the entire D community (both those with the betes and the MDs charged with making sure we don’t die or go blind or whatever) needs to stop thinking in terms of “good” and “bad”. Life is tough enough living with a disorder that seems to do what it wants whenever the hell it wants to. Having to take the blame for something that is, for a majority of the time, out of our control, is asking a bit too much. Try as we might sometimes the D just doesn’t give a shit. Numbers be damned! Endos should at the very least be more understanding of this fact.
So I suppose the moral of this story is be honest with your Endos D people. Let them know if what they are doing is or is not doing you any good. If you don’t respond to the “good/bad” numbers shpeal let them hear it. They are never going to spontaneously going to develop telepathic powers and be able to hear your thoughts and all your cleverly witty retorts to all their chiding. If they are doing something wrong let them hear it! They sure as hell aren’t too shy to yell at us whenever they THINK we are doing something wrong. It’s really the only way things are going to change. The numbers are only half the story. It’s time we all start telling our half now.