Doctor's appointment this morning! Nice new student doctor lady saw me before my regular doctor got to me.
Oh, how I'd like to stop these kids and say, hey, who do you think you're talking to? Someone who just got off the boat?
It went something like this.....
So how long have you had diabetes?
Forever! (I smile.) Well, since the '80s.
And what medicine are you currently taking for it?
I rattle off the list.
Are they keeping it under control?
My thought - you've got the records right in front of you, you can answer that as well as I can. But I don't point that out, I just make a nice comment about it doing pretty good. Then I make the mistake of saying the Byetta isn't working as well at controlling weight as it did at first. I see the flags go up. We'll have to look into why that is.
Next point - Do you exercise?
Not as much as I should.
What do you do for exercise?
How much do you walk?
From parking to my office every day and this on a campus with a major parking problem.
Could you walk some in addition to that?
Well, my back hurts if I walk too far. (It does. I wish it didn't but it does. And while I'm into no-pain, no-gain to some extent, I'm also into if it hurts, there must be a reason, so stop it. More often than not the second premise outranks the first... these days... for me...)
Do you smoke?
(Where the h... did that come from? Do I look like I smoke? Do I smell like I smoke?) No, never have!
Oh, that's wonderful, that's so good, especially for a diabetic! (She is practically leading cheers. Why does this offend me? This is no great accomplishment. Its not hard to never have smoked. Now, I believe it is very difficult to stop once you have but come on!)
Has anyone in your family had any heart problems?
(I'm beginning to get peeved. My doctor knows all about my family history of heart problems. I know all about my family history of heart problems. If you read the charts you would know the same thing. But why should you? You aren't my regular doctor.) Yes.
Who? What? (She is getting excited; she's made a huge discovery here. Like no one has ever explored this before.)
I explain the history.
She's listening to my heart, asking if I ever feel any chest pains. She seems quite let down when I say no.
Well, diabetics need to really be careful especially if there's any history of heart problems in their family.
Well, duh! I've never heard that before. Good grief! I'm thinking I probably know a lot more about this problem than my sweet little MD.
Next question: What have you been eating this summer?
I am completely dumbfounded. I sit with my mouth hanging open trying to decide how to answer that.
Fruits and vegetables?
I'm still searching for the appropriate answer to this. I may have muttered a Yes, when I'm thinking Yes, and anything else that comes my way.... Well, not literally. At least not everything that comes my way. But whatever is the food for the day. Its not that what I eat isn't important, but what I don't eat is also important and they never bother to ask that.
Do you check your blood glucose regularly?
Now we're into a touchy subject. Do I argue the point that it is my choice whether or not to live a perfect lifestyle and poke my finger every 8 hours to learn that I've been bad or maybe not so bad after I've already done it? Do I let her continue to push me? Or do I try to let her know that her patients, at least some of them (like me) will be more apt to poke their fingers if she cajoles or suggests or plants an idea rather than paint you as the dumbest person to have come to her office.
Student doctors need to be told that many, most of their patients know all the things they are going to be told. They could write the book. They are not going to take orders from a smart new whipper snapper. They actually are more apt to try to change their llfe styles for the better if they are treated with a bit of respect and empathy. As a promising young doctor is it possible they could have a lot to learn from their old patients?
Fortunately, my real doctor has lived long enough to know these things. But I suppose she once was a new save-the-world professional straight out of school too!
Post script to any student doctors who might read this: I'm sure YOU're not that insensitive! Sorry if I was rude!