Hello! The Unleashed One here. Before I get started, let me get some PSAs (Public Service Announcements) out of the way.
👉 The next series of posts will cover some aspects of chronic illness. If you are not comfortable with that type of content or that level of transparency, you can exit.
👉 I debated on whether to have one long-ass post but due to other activities I want to do this weekend, I decided it would be best to spread it out.
👉 I decided to cover this because (a) it's just good for me to get it out there since this blog primarily functions as my journal anyway but more importantly (b) because many speak on the peaks but not enough about the valleys, which may give outsiders a distorted or unrealistic view about how the healthy journey presents itself
Okay, like Nick from Exercise4CheatMeals would say, "Let's get into it."
Did I ever share the story about how my Type 2 diabetes diagnosis was confirmed? No, I don't think I did.
At that time, I was no longer working my former job (due to a new franchise owner and new management), so there was a period of time where I was working two jobs. I was on my way to one of my jobs when I felt a tremendous amount of abdominal pain. It was so bad to the point where I could barely concentrate on driving. I decided to call out from the 2nd job because the pain kept getting worse and worse. Finally, I made my way to the nearest hospital. They ran tests and my glucose number was high, like well over three hundred high.
At the emergency room, I was told to follow up with my primary care doctor. At this stage, I no longer had one. COBRA was too expensive for me to afford, and I was more focused on securing enough income to cover basic living expenses. I had insurance from the staffing agency but it didn't cover much (kind of like, "in case of emergencies, break glass" type of deal). However, since I had gotten diagnosed, I would try to do what I could with what I had to make sure I wasn't in the ER again.
When you have subpar insurance, your choices of care are limited. The clinic I selected at the time was crowded and often heavily booked. One could easily get there just when it opened and be waiting for over three hours to be seen. Yes, that bad.
One of the first statements said to me was, "You need to lose weight", followed by "You need to eat less." It was more the way these things were being conveyed, plus the doctor hadn't even asked any questions about my health prior to going over the notes from the ER. I understand that a doctor may be in a situation where he/she has too many patients, perhaps even have a biased against helping a certain type of demographic. However, you shouldn't make it obvious to the patient that you don't want to be bothered or that you don't care. Even if I didn't have the abilities of an empath, her body language alone signaled, "Let me get her in and get her out."
I was given what doctors and insurance dub the standard cocktail when it comes to treating Type 2 diabetes: metformin. Insurance likes it because it's relatively cheap to distribute, so I was able to get it for free. What's the use of getting anything for free when it's not working for you?
How did I determine it wasn't working for me? Well, although it is supposed to aid in weight loss, it didn't do that for me at all. Plus, my A1C did not reflect that it was effective. Yet, each time I suggested that I should be placed on a different medication, I was told, "We just need to increase the dosage."
That doctor increased my dosage. At that time, I was taking 1000 mg of Metformin twice a day. When that still wasn't helping, other than entertaining being put on different medicine, she asked, "Did you want to have weight loss surgery? I'm sure if we pull enough strings, we can get it approved."
Okay, so let me get this straight ... instead of paying attention to the patient and putting your patient on another medication that would be more effective, you want to automatically offer up said patient for surgery? I was outraged that she acted as if I had no say-so in the matter. Also, for me, surgery isn't the first step. It should be the LAST step, especially if I KNOW that everything that could have been done has NOT been tried.
Needless to say, that was the last time I went to that clinic and saw that doctor.
Will getting another doctor lead to better results and more effective treatment? To find out all that, you have to stay tuned.