Blog Entries With Tag: doctor

Posted: Jul 29, 2009


This has been my year for forking out money to doctors for services that aren't really "medical" related.  You maybe asking yourself - what the heck is she talking about? 

Well, it's the fact that here in the province of Quebec - and perhaps it's the same in your province, state, country - that in order to keep my drivers license because of having diabetes I need to have certain forms filled out by doctor(s) in order to maintain that privilege of being able to ride my stallion (in my case, I drive both car and motorcycle).  This occurs every two years and for some reason it always makes me scared.  I almost feel like a criminal in a way.

Motorcyle Mama

These are expenses that I cannot claim to my private medical insurance, and for some reason the amounts my doctors' charge has risen over the years.   A few months ago I had to pay $30 to my eye doctor - to prove that I was capable to drive.  The day I went to pick up the completed form - I was almost hit by a driver who for some reason - didn't see me on my motorcycle.  Hello, am I that invisible (see picture above)?  Luckily, my vision is better then the driver was.  Being a motorcyclist I think has made me a better drive, as I do shoulder checks, look left/right when making turns.  It just makes me wonder why aren't they the ones having to pay for a form to prove that they can drive when they could have caused an accident?  Urrhhhh.

Tomorrow, I'm off to my endo's office, to pick up the last form that is required by my province in order to not lose my drivers license.  This time, a $50 charge for a form that I had already filled out that only required the doctors signature.  Maybe if I'd bribed him with some of my freshly baked bread, the charge might have been less.  Sigh.

So, I will once again, be able to roam the roads for another few years, no threat to other drivers. I dread the day that I won't be able to drive due to my inability to not drive safely, but  when/if that happens I will gladly give up my drivers license - wouldn't you?

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Posted: Oct 15, 2008




I have been using a pump for the past year after MDI (multiple dosage injecting aka “poor man's pump”) method.  The pump has proven itself to be a valuable tool in controlling my diabetes – and I find I am in more control of my life now.  No  more being the regimental soldier eating every “x” amount of hours.  Also, I have very few hypos now. Pumping is the best thing since sliced bread IMHO (and I make my own bread here at home – I am quite the Domestic Engineer since becoming semi-retired).  


The good news with my first “poke ‘em doctor” – my A1C instead of being the usual prepump 7.0ish reading was 5.9 (6 months ago my A1C was 6.1).  I was really amazed at the latest result with having just come off a 3 week sailing holiday. A wee bit of stress with some of the 3 tropical storms (Gustav, Hannah, Ike ... hmmm where's Tina?) that came up north hitting our little 25’ sailboat called the Fat Cat (oh and my marriage held together - swearing at my hubby that we're going to die in Lake Ontario while the boat feels like it's in a  washing cycle for heavy duty clothing - joy!).  Along with eating foods I don’t normally eat – I actually used less insulin and also my blood sugars remained very level during that time (I try to attain 4.5 – 6).


The other good news – I am not losing my eyesight!  A few years ago my ophthalmologist started to get worried about my eyes.  After that I was seeing her every 6 months instead of once a year (field vision test, dilation of pupil, yadda, yadda, yadda – you know the drill).  This time I “poised for the camera” (had an optic nerve test – where they take pictures of your sexy eyeball). Not covered by Quebec Medicare but it was done.  The results from all these tests – she is amazed at the quality of my eyes due to my length of having diabetes!  Losing my eyesight has been always a nagging thing with me – as I’m sure it is with others.


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Posted: Sep 30, 2008

I recently had my annual physical with my primary care physician. It’s an appointment I hate. I don’t hate the doc and I don’t hate it for all the same reasons most people do … blood draws, afraid of results, afraid of the scale, being reprimanded, etc. I hate it because I have a nervous break down taking my clothes off in front of anyone. You’d think after all these years I’d be used to it. Nope, not me; it’s gotten worse. I get extraordinarily uncomfortable, my adrenalin increases, I start shaking, yapping incessantly and up goes my blood pressure. Can’t we just do this with my clothes on?

This particular doc is young, in her thirties and I really like her. She looks at me more as an equal than a “dumb” patient. Her messages are “Hi, this is Liza.” That helps. She does not dismiss any opposing views I have and we discuss them to the medical level that I understand. She never talks over my head and if she uses a word or abbreviation I don’t understand, I just ask and she explains in perfect Doris English. In fact, she offers to research issues for me.

But I still couldn’t get past what I still knew was hovering … she tends to like to do EKGs on her diabetic patients regardless of age, blood sugar control, weight, etc. I knew it was coming and I dreaded it. Take all the blood you want but keep those EKG leads away from me.

As I said, normally I don’t have a theoretic problem with blood draws. Take all you want. However, I do get dizzy. At my last visit, I sat in the chair in the exam room. The blood sucker asked me to climb up on the table. I told her that wasn’t a good idea since I get dizzy. She whined and I asked what the problem was … she didn’t want to bend over! Poor baby. Who is the paying customer and do you really want to pick this paying customer up off the floor or would you prefer to bend over for 30 seconds? I won of course.

So this time, I asked if it was the same blood sucker. It was not. It was a young gentleman. He was very quick but alas, it was very uncomfortable. Come to find out it was fast because he used a bigger needle, thus, it hurt. Hmmm … what’s my preference?

I also posed the seemingly negative question “You’re not doing the EKG are you.” He responded “No, why.” I said “Because I don’t take my clothes off in front of men.” He reiterated that he wasn’t but I’d be out of luck if there weren’t any women around. I told him “No, you’d be out of luck because I wouldn’t do it.” Alas, it was a young lady who came and did the EKG. I told her how uncomfortable I was and she helped me stay covered up as much as possible, was quick, pleasant and efficient. Still, the experience was torturous in my mind but a lot less so than it could have been.

The morale of my story … you’re the paying customer. You’ve got to go to these appointments. However, if you’re like me and you dread going to the doctor’s office for any reason, try to address why you hate it so much. Then, take the bull by the horns, remember you are the customer and modify the situation within reasonable limits (e.g. demanding you sit in a chair or have a gender preference for a particular procedure). Then take a deep breathe, count to ten and suck up the part you hate and can’t change. Promise yourself a small treat if that’s what it takes to get through it. It’ll be over soon. I promise.  You'll be the healthier for it.

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Posted: Sep 14, 2008

...  but not with myself or anything having to do with my diabetes.  I'm upset for a newly diagnosed "buddy."  She's only been at this a few months.  She's making incredible progress and has taken leaps into the veteran suggeston box that most couldn't take for years.  That's cool.  That means she is so far ahead of the game in the confidence department that she'll be able to skip so much of the "garbage" us 30 year plus vets faced. 

She had her first low.  Well, that low wouldn't be a huge deal if not for a few things 1) her husband had to wake her up 2) it scared her and 3) it's caused from way too much insulin as prescribed from her medical caregivers.  She's honeymooning, a type 1 and not insulin resistance.  They have her taking 4 times as much long acting as I need and a set dose of rapid acting per meal.  Then they told her how many carbs for that units but it's twice what I take per 15 carbs and I'm considered insulin sensitive for a veteran at 1:15 or 1:75 for a correction.  (I'm not buying the your mileage may vary stuff in this case.  It's TOO much insulin."

It's no wonder she had a bad low.  She's not "allowed" to carb count.  The peaks from the Lantus alone are bad.  What happens when they cross a rapid acting peak?  What happens when she doesn't want that number of carbs.  That's now how many carbs she ate as a non-diabetic, why should she try to eat that many now? 

I help newly diagnosed and veteran diabetics all the time with insulin requirements.  This time, I've got to patient.  She's got to feel comfortable about when to make adjustments by herself, when to buck the doctor, and when she has to trust.  I get that.  Truly I do.  But the pain in her "voice" and the fear from her first "low" are just hard for me to watch.  My first low was in an entirely controlled environment at the Joslin Clinic in November 1976.  She was not afforded that same comfort.  I'm just so upset I can't help her through this more than I am.  I can't "fix" the insulin instructions she was given even though I know they are wrong and I can't make her feel less frightened.  So ... I'm upset.


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Blog: Sharings

Posted: Jan 31, 2008

If you manage your diabetes well, you would rarely be in a position where you could not communicate with people around you. However, there may be times when your blood sugar is very low in the short term or very high for a prolonged period of time (hours or days). Or in the event of an accident you might be rendered unconscious. In these situations, it may be difficult to communicate specific information about your health issues to people trying to help you.

At times like this, a wallet card containing health information specific to you may be extremely important. This may be as simple as a 3x5 card on which you have listed:

  • Medications and dosages
  • Primary care doctor and phone number
  • Pharmacy and phone number
  • Emergency contact information

This may be helpful for any number of chronic conditions.

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