letters to dear dr(s). crappy and wonderfulendo

May 10, 2011

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There have been so many of you, I’ll just number you chronologically. Your offenses are very similar: condescending attitudes; inability to listen to what I shared with you; flat-out inaccurate information about this disease; labeling me “noncompliant” or “emotional” and then using that as an excuse not to provide the best medical treatment I needed…and so on. Here we go. (the yrs. old = my age when I saw these drs.)

Dr. Crappy #1 (7 yrs. old): You misdiagnosed me, leaving my mom with “she’s got a flu bug” which several weeks later became me almost falling asleep in the pool during swim lessons. How could you not smell the ketones on my breath? I was drinking at least a gallon of water a day, falling asleep sitting up in the middle of the afternoon, and spending the rest of my time in the bathroom peeing everything out. Easy enough to get urine in a test tube when it’s coming out of me so frequently–WTFructose?! Shame on you.

Dr. Crappy #2 (7-17 yrs. old): You were pretty much the only endo in town. You labeled me “overweight” and “an emotional eater” when I was 10 years old, and I wasn’t overweight (I have my medical file from your office). Every time I came to an appointment, you told me to lose weight. At what point might it have occurred to you that another approach would be helpful? Never?  I attribute at least part of what’s been the story of my life with craptastic body image, eating and exercise behaviors to you.

Dr. Crappy #3 (19-20 yrs. old): You refused to provide medical advice for my diabetes until I lost weight. You have type 1 diabetes, and prided yourself on averaging about 65 mg/dl at any given time, and keeping a bottle of glucose tabs with you everywhere and just “popping a few” as needed–but not too many, watch out! Many times you compared yourself to me with disparaging comments about my weight, my (lack of) BG control and overall “noncompliance.” Thinking of you still makes me cringe.

Dr. Crappy #4 (35-36 yrs. old): You upped my basals constantly based on what–my HbA1c? Because I sure never gave you any BG data to base any decisions. Most of the rest of your patients were type 2, and your nursing staff constantly forgot that I have type 1. Due to your misinformed increases in my insulin ratios, rates and all else infusion pump, I ate all. the. time. and ran low all day, needing more and more food and sugar just to be able to think for a minute. I firmly believe that many of the other meds I “needed” during that time weren’t really indicated, because my symptoms were coming from always being low. I do admit that had I tested more than twice a day (on a good day), I would have had ample data to fight back. But you shouldn’t have been changing anything without that data anyway.

Dr. Crappy #5 (37-38 yrs. old): I am grateful that at least you knew that #4 had me on way too much insulin. Very grateful. I’ll admit that. But, you went way over into the other end of the pool, with your low-low-low carb diet recommendations and strong suggestions that sound just a little bit anorexic-crazed. I’m really glad you never broached your trademarked nutritional protein supplement food replacement thing to me, because I would have lost it on you. Your staff doesn’t know the difference between types 1 and 2, and one said (in the same breath) “Your BG is too high, you need to watch that. I had a patient die from going too low, though, so watch out for that.” You’re also a little lazy, wanting me only on a Medronic pump because the rep hangs out at your office every week, then suggesting the Omnipod because a colleague of yours loved it. Do some research, find out what’s available and then talk options! I will say THANK YOU for writing the letters for my Animas Ping and Dexcom cgm, but you didn’t even want to know how they worked! That’s just weird. Get over yourself.

WHEW! Enough of that ickiness. Nice to get it out there, though. Now, on to the good stuff.

Dr. WonderfulEndo #1: (21-32 yrs. old) THANK YOU for telling me “it would be better if you could lose some weight, but it’s not necessary in order to get your BG under control. You don’t have to be skinny to manage the type 1.” Thinking about it almost makes me cry. You provide the best, most current, most supportive treatment for your patients regardless of their circumstances, and that is so incredibly rare. Here is where I apologize for still not testing more than 2-3 times/day and not providing you with decent data so that we could make the best decisions about my care. We could have done great things together–and I am so grateful for all of my appts. with you. Then, when I didn’t have great or much insurance coverage you didn’t collect anything over the amount billed to insurance. If you hadn’t done that, I would have had to break up with you. SO GLAD that I didn’t have to! You. ROCK.

Dr. WonderfulEndo #2: (38 yrs. old-present day) THANK YOU for listening to me, sitting with me for up to an hour at a time, and looking at my crazy logs of 15 BGs/day and everything d-related, speaking to me as an intelligent person with 30 years of experience. THANK YOU for talking to me as a problem-solving partner. THANK YOU for treating me as someone capable of doing the necessary things, even though they’re hard, in order to take better care of myself. THANK YOU for saying “we can figure this out,” and then helping me do that! THANK YOU for making it easier for me to “tweak” boluses and basals, and for only taking on 1 “tweak” at a time–not my entire plan for my entire day, because that doesn’t do anyone any good. You. Also. ROCK.

p.s. to WonderfulRD/CDE and WonderfulNP/CDE (38 yrs. old-present day) THANK YOU for listening, for laughing and crying with me, for looking at my numbers and logs and ALWAYS asking gentle, positive questions about what I CAN do, never chastising me for what I haven’t done/didn’t do. THANK YOU for alerting me to the fact that I’m a big correction stacker–I’m still trying to limit that a little. THANK YOU for making certain things sound possible, and for celebrating with me when they are! I cry just thinking about how much you’ve helped me. Looking forward to all kinds of goodness to come…and can’t believe I just typed that about my d-team: it’s such a relief, a joy, and a privilege to have medical providers who get it, and who can bring it. It’s about time.

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