Wednesday, July 4, 2012

My New Endo Experience

So this week I had my 6 month check up at my endocrinologist.  I wasn't clicking with my old endo so after I met Dr. V at a JDRF function I knew I had to switch.  He was nice enough to give an appointment pretty quickly and from our conversations he seemed like a nice, knowledgable doctor.  I decided to try him out and if he didn't work for me then I would keep searching for physician perfection.

But I was still nervous.

After shadowing so many doctors it felt weird to be a patient again but I knew my diabetes needed a tune up.  I parked my jeep in the massive parking deck and wandered around until I found an elevated walkway leading to the Kirklin Clinic.  I was lead into what looked like an airport.  I walked by a patient library, a huge pharmacy even a Starbucks.  Each level housed different specialties.  I must have looked lost and scared because another patient took me under her wing and showed me the way around.  

You have to remember that I'm from Canada and when you say the word "Clinic" I think of a small, quaint office with 10 chairs, not a high class hospital with a Starbucks!  Anyways, I was checked in by a super nice receptionist (not many are nice!) and after spending 20 minutes trying, and not succeeding to study, I was taken back by a very nice nurse.  I tried my best to not panic but I always do and my blood pressure shot through the roof.  I told the nurse that I check my blood pressure constantly at the pharmacy and even took photos to prove it.  She just laughed and said that I had "White Coat" syndrome.  Yes, yes I do!  Like a lightening fast ninja she took my blood sugar (104) and A1C.  With a cotton ball in hand I was ready to go.

So far so good I quickly got shuttled back to a nice little examination room.  The nurse told me to sit on the table and wait for Dr. V.  After seeing so many patients choose to sit in the chairs and not on the table I decided that I too, was going to sit in the chairs.  I was nervous already, I didn't want to be stuck up on a pedestal too.  I sat down, pulled out 3 months of records that I had printed off the night before and bounced my leg to pass the time.  

Dr. V came in quickly and immediately I calmed right down.  I shared my story of diabetes up until now and he listened carefully and let me talk.  I just LOVE it when doctors let you talk!  He agreed that the Omnipod wasn't a good fit for me (something my other doctor and I fought about) and even told me that other elite athletes had the same issues as I did.  Hah!  I'm not crazy!  My A1C was ridiculously low.  So low in fact that I seriously suspect that the little A1C machine was inaccurate.  It was 4.2.  How am I still alive you ask?  I have no idea.  Dr. V looked at the huge amount of data I printed out and told me that he was fine with a 4.2 because I don't actually go low all that often, but told me a number like this probably won't ever happen again.  I'm ok with that.  Normally I sit at 5.4 or so.  

So we discussed tweaking my basal rates, poked my scarred up dancer feet, and checked my back fat for any pump bumps.  All good to go and super healthy.  He was worried about my thyroid since I hold onto a lot of water weight and have super irregular periods (too much info?  Whatever!)  Also he wanted to test me for celiac and a whole other host of hormone, autoimmune and whatever he could think of problems.  I'm going in on Friday to donate half my body in blood and hopefully everything is peachy keen and I'm good to go for another 6 months.    

So, I do believe I have reached physician perfection.  Luckily Dr. V is young so I'm guaranteed to have a great doctor for a while.  He listens, doesn't yack about other patients or the weather and wants to negotiate with me on treatment options.  He treats me like an equal.  Plus it's also cool to know that he's at the same JDRF research meetings as I am so we can discuss fun cutting edge stuff.  Like the Varapmill study that I posted about a few weeks ago.  

Well it's the 4th of July and I have sufficiently cooled down after my run.  It's time to hit the pool!

-Exit Stage Left


  1. Hello, I'm sorry to bother you. My name is Maria I'm 17 years old and I'm from Portugal. I have type one diabetes, I dance and I want to be a contemporary dancer. My doctor is trying to convince me to make a surgery to put a insulin pup,but I'm not sure if that is the best choice for my case, because ballet dance is different from contemporary, I have to make lots of tumbling's and jumps and I'm always dancing with other people that by an accident may hurt me if I had an insulin pup... For now I'm being treated like a normal diabetic, I'm injecting insulin by myself. I would love to know your opinion, do you think you can give me yours? Thank you so much!

  2. Hey Mandiy,
    That's great that you enjoy dance as much as I do!
    While I've danced ballet for most of my career the company that I dance with now is a modern dance company. I still wear my pump even though I am rolling around on the floor, jumping and partner work. All I do is put my pump in a little zippered pocket in my dance pants and I rarely have problems. I've never ripped out an infusion set from dancing.
    Pumping can be a big change and if you're not ready for it you should do what you're comfortable with. I know many well controlled diabetics that aren't pumping.
    If you're interested in getting a pump then do some research and even try dancing with a "loaner" pump to see if it bothers you or not.
    Best of luck! Let me know how it goes!