I recently read an Insulin Nation commentary by a type one’s mother entitled When Your Doctor is Diabetes Dumb – a good read that is as relevant today as it was when first published in 2014. It is a reminder of the realities of treating Type 1 diabetes and a wake-up call to lead the charge in your treatment and care by those who do not specialize in this chronic disease. Now and then, I might add, you may have to be a little pushy with specialists, too – but that’s a matter for another post. Here are a few highlights:
When my daughter was first diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, I thought our biggest challenge would be the disease itself. I never imagined we would have to simultaneously combat Type 1 diabetes and public ignorance. Yet during the past six years, a major challenge has been a lack of understanding about the differences between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.
What’s scary is that this ignorance is not limited to the general public; many medical professionals we’ve encountered lack even basic knowledge of the difference in these two diseases. If some doctors and nurses don’t have even a rudimentary understanding, how can we hope for ordinary people to understand?
Recently, we moved and had to get a referral from a local doctor to get a new endocrinologist for my daughter. When the doctor entered the examining room, he asked my daughter how she contracted diabetes. We thought he was joking, but after a few awkward moments it sunk in that he was serious. My daughter explained to the doctor how her pancreas doesn’t produce insulin. He still didn’t get it. He insisted that she could reverse this disease with correct diet and exercise. We tried to convince him he was wrong, but ultimately we gave up and got out of there with the referral as quickly as we could.
We, as the diabetes community, must find a way to attack this problem by advocating for stricter standards of diabetes education in medical and nursing school programs. Also, we must act as diabetes ambassadors and inform the general public about Type 1 diabetes.
Read the entire commentary on InsulinNation.com.
Do not underestimate your T1 knowledge and do not assume that general practitioners, family physicians, nurses, physician assistants, and, especially emergency personnel (because I’ve been there – just read about my emergency room experience and download my tips here) know the basics or complexities of treating Type 1 diabetes. They may be the captain of your ship, but never forget that you own the vessel. [bctt tweet=”Educate and steer the medical profession in the right direction of treating your Type 1 diabetes. ” username=”@1bonniesher”]
What Type 1 diabetes issues top your list today? Use the comments section of this post as a soapbox to sound-off on treating type 1 diabetes.
Title photo credit: The qspeaks under Creative Commons License