The following post may be long and rambly!
I firmly believe the mind and body respond in ways that are completely entwined in our psyche. I think I now realize why fear grasps me, before I see this particular doctor.
Yesterday, I enter an extremely crowded waiting room, where the man at the front counter next to me makes a terrible joke. The receptionist tells him politely that Dr. A is very behind in his schedule. The man replies, "So does that make his Indian name, Running Late?" I think, he has to be nervous too!
I finally got back into a room, and the nurse takes my dreaded blood pressure. I hold my breath, and the automatic blood pressure machine breaks, while it is trying to inflate. I hear a retching sound next door, when someone grabbed my nurse and stole her away, while trying to get me out of the cuff. "He's throwing up, HELP ME!" another nurse yells and the commotion in the hall escalates.
I sat there, watching my arm turn blue, as I'm trying to restore circulation, and it hit me. The reason WHY I hate this office so much. I flashed back to sitting in the busy waiting room, engaged in my habit of people watching. Two amputees, one apparently fresh, with all of the billowy white wrapped around what's left of his leg. One blind woman was accompanied by her daughter, as well as many older couples with plastic bags filled up completely with medications. Then there's me. In heels, dressed for work, looking much younger than my age, and feeling quite well. I'm sick, but not. That could end up being me. I don't belong here. Suddenly, I wanted to tap my heels 3 times, and pray it will take me home, like Dorothy.
Then the nurse came back. This time, she manually took my blood pressure, and pricked my finger. 220.127.116.11.1..246. Crap! Not how I wanted to start this. She weighed me, made notes and rushed out of the room. Right behind her, a strange doctor entered, and he did not bother to introduce himself. He was curt, got the facts and exited. Then he quickly came back in with my doctor. Interns. Rotations must have just begun, because their was an intern at my last weeks DR.'s visit too.
I won't detail the entire visit, but I have to note that my doctor took way longer than 15 minutes with me, and even with his busy day was pretty jovial. I wonder if that was for the benefit of the intern. Call me a cynic. I did not ask about the pump and I totally chickened out. I was showing him my bruises on the back of my arm, and complaining about the shots, when I was quickly scolded about shot placement. "Why aren't you using you stomach or hips? You don't have enough F. A. T., and therefore don't get good absorption there." What? Totally caught off guard, and a little defensive, any good approach of a pump was forgotten.
Basically, he changed my insulin ratios, and I have to relive the torture in a month. Not what I was hoping for. His last words as I walked out the door were, "Don't forget. CALL ME if you have any problems, I'm here." I picked up my FMLA paperwork (3x I've forgotten about it), and I was somewhat distressed when I left for the lab downstairs. I looked at all the tests he was running, and noticed the code had changed. 250.03. Type 1 diabetic, presenting with no complications, UNCONTROLLED.
My head and heart just fell, for a moment I thought about ditching the lab and running to my car. In one hand I had the FMLA forms, to officially verify that I am chronically ill. In the other hand, a list of blood work to quantify how "sick" I really am. 250.03 and any one of those people with complications in the waiting room could be me. Sneaky and quietly, the diabetes could steal away all those things I take for granted and depend on. Reality sometimes seems surreal. How did I get here? When did this start? AND WHY, WITH ALL THE ATTENTION AND CARE I HAVE BEEN PLACING ON MY D, WAS I NOW DECLARED UNCONTROLLED?
I know my A1C will probably still be bad, since it hasn't been that long since the DKA. I now wonder, what other problems they will conjure up out of those little tubes of blood. I can't believe how hard I'm taking this. I cried last night, and was close to tears all day today, even though I KNOW nothing has really changed since Monday. Seeing the reality of how this disease can ravage a body is daunting, and visiting the endo is like admitting that one day, I could fall prey to those dreaded complications. I left feeling defeated and still unaccomplished since I didn't even ask about the pump.
Interestingly, I came home from work this afternoon, with pen needles and boxes of strips greeting me at the door. I had to laugh. It was odd, that laughter. I think in that moment it was like God was reminding me I had tools to take care. It gave me a small bit if solace and I recited the serenity prayer to myself. I am so lucky to have family, insurance, tools, and a team of health care professionals to aid me in keeping my health good, but I know I will never really be satisfied until THERE IS A CURE.