Diabetes Hero

Let’s end our week on a high note and blog about our “Diabetes Hero”.  It can be anyone you’d like to recognize or admire, someone you know personally or not, someone with diabetes or maybe a Type 3.  It might be a fabulous endo or CDE.  It could be a d-celebrity or role-model.  It could be another DOC member.  It’s up to you – who is your Diabetes Hero??

When I first saw this topic, I was convinced that I would write about my daughter. That is why I posted the pictures of her yesterday. She is now 16, and the young lady she has become, and the opportunities she has jumped at and succeeded at, have been a direct result of her diabetes. And I am so proud of her. It would be very easy for her to pull back and hide (not that she doesn’t have those days).

But then I thought of another here. Her endocrinologist. We have had the worst few years when it has come to doctors. In fact, before our current doctor, my daughter had decided not only that would she NEVER go into the medical field (because she did not want to be associated with doctors) but also that she would never listen to a doctor again. They don’t know anything and they simply don’t care. Her words, not mine. However, I could not blame her for that, for her experience had proven just that.

A few years ago, the doctor she had been seeing since her diagnosis as a baby, died unexpectedly. And at his own hand. She was furious. He had promised that he cared about her. He had promised that he would be there for her. He lied.

The doctor hired to replace her seemed nice enough. But when we went in for our first appointment, she talked to my just-turned-13 daughter like she was six. And suggested cute little games we could play with her brother at the breakfast table about guessing how many carbs are in different foods. She had been doing this for 11 years. The doctor would never win her over after this.

I ended up having to change my insurance in order to change doctors. I really did not want to, but the fact was that my daughter was NOT buying into this doctor, and she was really the only one that mattered. And she was coming up to important years, and I really needed her to buy in!

The next doctor we found, we stayed with for a year. He promised to get her on the pump, yet every time we went to see him, he had no explanation as to why we had not progressed on getting the pump. The nurse checking us in routinely asked my daughter if she had diabetes. This also did not go over well as we saw this same woman every six weeks. She clearly did not care. She did not een know who Emily was.

Then one day at the pharmacist, after 9 months, we realized that the doctor had prescribed the wrong insulin. No wonder her A1C had jumped to 10 (when it had always been in the 7s)! And when the pharmacy called the doctor, he claimed to have no idea who we were. He never had a patient by that name and had never heard of us.

But this is one of those cases where I guess having that happen was a blessing. That is when we found her current doctor. It has only been a year, but my daughter loves and, more importantly, respects her. She doesn’t preach, scold, judge or act like she knows exactly how my daughter feels. She is just a shoulder to cry on (literally) and a support. Plus, she got her on the pump within three months. And for all of you on the pump, you know what a big deal that was!

So I dedicate today to her, Dr. Jamie Wood. You have not only given my daughter incredible care, but you have also given her a chance to trust a doctor. And with a lifetime of doctors ahead of her, that is a tremendous gift!

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