Do I need a medical team?

By iluvtofu Latest Reply 2012-10-17 17:19:25 -0500
Started 2012-10-08 16:32:03 -0500

I was diagnosed type 2 about 2 years ago. Normally when there is something important in my life I get involved and through others I meet I learn everything I can. But since being diagnosed I feel sorely under-educated on diabetes. Early on I was given the basic information like how to test and what to do about lows. I met with a diabetes educator every three months for the first year and met with a dietician once after requesting it. I get an A1c every 3 months and meet with my doctor for the results. I also do annual foot and eye exams.

Outside of the medical industry I have searched for local groups with no luck. There are no support groups, the local ADA is a mailbox and voicemail, and any professional I have asked does not know of any groups active in the diabetes community.

I also have the side issue of having adult ADD so sitting down and reading a book just doesn't happen no matter how much I try.

So I'm stuck with the medical community for my information and so far I'm not impressed with their willingness to educate.

I've heard the term "diabetes team" being thrown around and I wonder if my team is complete. I have my primary physician, a CBE that I guess I can make an appointment with, a dietician who only gives me a well photocopied page of basic serving sizes and percentages as a diet guideline, an ophthalmologist, and a podiatrist.

Is there anyone else I should have on my "team"? Are there any other resources I should take advantage of?

10 replies

cbelyea 2012-10-17 17:19:25 -0500 Report

On paper, it sounds like you have a good team. But if you still feel in the dark, that would suggest that you have some ineffective team members. I was lucky in that when I was diagnosed I was put in a pediatric wing of a hospital for a week's worth of training, so I had a great start. However, life changes and along the way I needed additional help. In my experience, educators have been the greatest source of help. While I've had great doctors, the educators have been much more hands on. (I have a feeling it's because the doctors are a bit more tied up in things like paper work, etc.) I've learned far more from them about strategy, how foods, exercise, injection sites and more individually impact what's going on with blood sugar than any other source.

Choosing a health care provider really isn't that different than something like choosing a cell phone provider, internet service provider or a mechanic. They are serving you, and if you feel you're not getting what you should out of it, it might be time to move on.

Leslie S
Leslie S 2012-10-14 22:42:15 -0500 Report

This is an excellent question! I was diagnosed a year ago and have recently been struggling with this as well. My a1c has gone down, but I've pondered checking into an endocrinologist. Tips and suggestions for finding a decent one?? Do I get all blood work done with them, not my regular doctor? so many questions, I don't know where to start!

Lizardfan 2012-10-09 15:14:50 -0500 Report

My team is my endo @ Joslin, they also have a CDE and and dietician. Any diabetic complications they have a team of expert physicians to deal with any issue. My PCP takes care of any issues not related to my diabetes. There are local support groups I could use if I needed them, but I do not feel it is necessary at this time. I use this group, the site and FB pages for Bydureon and Byetta medications for support as needed. Sounds like you are doing well, the only suggestion I would make is perhaps an endo. I am older and I used a PCP for years for my diabetes care. He recommended that I see an endo now so that if I had complications down the line I would already have a history with a specialist. Good luck, and I hope you can complete your team to your satisfaction.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2012-10-08 18:35:12 -0500 Report

I think you have a pretty good team already. As for support groups, type diabetic support group with your city or state in the search engine. I have found several in my city and state.

Check area hospitals and health centers. Some of them have support groups. I think they are more prevalent in major cities. You could also look into starting a support group in your area.

jayabee52 2012-10-08 17:36:03 -0500 Report

The only person I didn't see you mention an endocrinologist. Sounds to me like you have a decent diabetes team. As long as you are satisfied with them . that is.

GabbyPA 2012-10-08 18:55:19 -0500 Report

That is what I saw as missing, but you might also want some one who functions as a life coach. Someone who is there for you and can push you when you need a push and comfort when you need that. Generally that is a spouse or a close friend. Those help a lot.

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