Does your doctor really understand?

Jeanette Terry
By Jeanette Terry Latest Reply 2013-08-17 17:29:15 -0500
Started 2013-08-12 16:27:32 -0500

I recently had a good conversation with several people that have lived with diabetes for many years. I found it interesting that many of them felt that health care professionals don't always understand our needs as diabetics, even if we have have been seeing them for a long time.

So how many of you feel that your doctor doesn't really understand your needs?

And what have you found helps them understand better so that you can communicate more effectively?

18 replies

ny-winner-1 2013-08-17 14:45:06 -0500 Report

This is a great question Terry. Thank you. Doctors are crucial but it's up to us to be proactive in our health care. I give my former PCP a lot of credit for where I am today but, at the same time, If I had remained silent, I would not have gotten what I truly needed from him.

After I had a stroke and returned for a PCP visit, he proceeded to give me several scripts (I stopped counting after 4 and he was still "flippin the scripts"). From the depths of my life, before I realized I was even talking, I said to him "you can have this diabetes back, I don't want it." The prospect of taking so much medication was not an option for me. He responded by recommending three documentary films, one of which was Raw for Thirty Days. After watching this film, I made the necessary diet and lifestyle changes and began my journey to healing.

The most important change was that I became proactive in my own health care. My mindset all those years had been " I'm seeing my doctor and taking my medication, I'm okay." Yet, I had a stroke.

I've had little interactions with doctors lately, but when I do visit have appointments, I try to be as proactive as possible. I try to be prepared with as much detail about myself as I can—stats, the effects of medication (although I'm mostly crying I don't want to be on any), my symptoms, etc. I will no longer blindly accept what doctors tell me or want they want to prescribe. I found that each time I changed doctors, different medication were prescribed. I have a strong suspicion this has nothing to do with me. I ask questions conducive to get me where I want to be—healthy and medication free). I strongly suggest that (within the few minutes we have with our PCPs) we compel them to understand us as we are—total beings with very specific issues and goals, not just as symptoms. We have all types of baggage and underlying causes related to our disease that we struggle with as well: eating disorders, financial problems, stressful relationships and careers, the whole nine yards.

I found that the result of being proactive and my trueself when interacting with my PCP was—a wise, knowledgeable and understanding physician. As long as I must see a doctor, my wish is to have that person as a knowledgeable and understanding partner with me to become healthy, not just to treat symptoms and prescribe medication.

silvie mae
silvie mae 2013-08-17 17:19:15 -0500 Report

One of my most empowering moments is when i stood up to my last endocrinologist and asked for a referral to the one I currently see.
My last appointment with him I was briefing him on what was going on with me I had a couple trips to the ER and I was experiencing some other physical problems and wanted him to know. He put his hand up and began shaking his finger back and forth and said "I am only interested in your bg numbers."That was it, last straw! Right then I asked him for a referral. He was insulted and it felt great. :-) I was ready for him that day, I had done my research. He said, "What makes you think he's he's taking new patients?" I said, "I've already called them and they are." Hahaha!

Maintanenceman1 2013-08-15 20:44:22 -0500 Report

my current primary physician is okay & looking at changing doctors to one that I seen before. I'm having to do some work to get records for my Obstructive Sleep Apnea to get supplies through my insurance. My current physician is slow on paperwork most of the time. I do the work.

Roxannescott 2013-08-14 22:01:30 -0500 Report

I think we type ones need to remember that it's NOT our fault we have highs…we just have to learn why and take care of it… there should be no guilt!

Roxannescott 2013-08-14 21:57:29 -0500 Report

I have had a doctor who didn't understand the pump… find one that does… write things down you need to tell the Dr. Emotions count! Diabeties effects your whole life! I finally found an awesome Dr. A WOMAN DOCTOR WITH DIABETES! The best!!!! but few and far between I'm afraid…

silvie mae
silvie mae 2013-08-17 17:21:42 -0500 Report

My endo. is a diabetic on the pump and so is the majority of the staff. Sure makes a big difference in the quality of care and understanding. I feel very fortunate to have found them.

meltheo 2013-08-14 07:35:19 -0500 Report

My son is four yrs old and diabetic. His doctor is useless.
He was I hospital Xmas day until new yrs eve last yr and she didn't even answer her phone.
Because my son is on an insulin pump I needed her to help the hospital staff as they had no idea what the pump was. The hospital staff wouldn't let me or my husband touch the pump.
So we discharged our son after getting no where.
The hospital staff and the diabetic doctors need more training and more understanding.

silvie mae
silvie mae 2013-08-17 17:29:15 -0500 Report

Horrible! No excuse for the lack of diabetes education among health care professionals. The disease is too widespread for so many in the medical care profession to be as clueless as they are.

DanniDiabetic 2013-08-13 11:27:52 -0500 Report

I don't have insurance so when I go to the doctor they kinda just pass it off and makes me feel like a failure . I'm doing the best Ivan and I depend on them but yet they still don't have my insulin for 4 months ? Yea I can't really talk to my doctor.

CallumB 2013-08-13 06:46:23 -0500 Report

Since being a child I've hated the NHS diabetic clinics, they used to make me feel so bad it affected my diabetes in many ways from not eating to avoid my sugar rising. To being ashamed of my diabetes. When I was 18 I had lost my injection pens so I went to the diabetic clinic to get some, and I was asked to meet with a doctor at the same time. I agreed and met the most outstanding Diabetic doctor ever. He himself suffered from Type 1 diabetes and could relate to everything I had said which put a little faith in going to clinics again.

Jeanette Terry
Jeanette Terry 2013-08-13 14:11:40 -0500 Report

That is awesome. I have heard that doctors that have diabetes are much more compassionate and understanding than those that don't.

SandySilvers 2013-08-12 19:49:10 -0500 Report

I can ask my doctor anything, which I love. And I feel like she really does understand. But for the most part I've always just felt that its up to me to do the right things in order to keep my D under control. So I just do what I have to do, see my doctor on a regular basis, and I know I can get guidance from her if its needed .

elizag1 2013-08-12 19:45:08 -0500 Report

I think she knows but, I just started seeing a new doc. and she understands but, I think she just thinks I know what to do. She has not
tested my A1c yet. I know if I eat chocolate I gain weight.

Scarlet03 2013-08-12 16:57:21 -0500 Report

The year I switched to insulin, I had only been with my new doctor a couple of months. I had made the choice to leave my other doctor due to false diagnosis and emotional pain.
I dont mind male doctors, but the ones I have run into, turn their nose up at me. My gyno is a man and he's good. My new doc is part of a hospital group,which in my mind seems more stable and the hospital is right across the street.
ANYWAYS, at the time my bloodsugar was going out of control, I did my best, but everything was going haywire.
My doc suggested I go to a diabetic class, which I did. The instructor there, looked at my A1C charts and recommended insulin. I was really relieved.

Sometimes, what I do is toot my own horn and make sure Im heard. Especially with my neck, this year was something out of the ordinary and something had to be done.

Jeanette Terry
Jeanette Terry 2013-08-13 14:14:04 -0500 Report

that is interesting that the instructor of your class was the one to catch that you may need insulin instead of your doctor.

Scarlet03 2013-08-13 14:16:18 -0500 Report

I know right? And after that they still insisted I take pills…
Well I did that on my own. My problems with the pills stopped and I went on novalog after that…its been good ever since

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