Window Endo Shopping

I have seen the same endo for the last 10ish years.  He’s nice enough.  And I love his staff (they are actually the main reason I’ve hung in this long.)  It’s a very small office – just the dr, his wife who runs the office, his nurse, and the girl who does the billing (who used to be his nurse – love her!)

It has always been in the back of my mind that I was the one running the show with him, but up until recently, that’s been just fine with me. I only wanted someone to write out my Rx’s every 3 months, make sure I wasn’t dying, not judge me, and move along. Catch ya in 90 days, doc.  Even when I had my son a little over four years ago, I had a surprisingly non-eventful pregnancy/delivery (except for the morning I didn’t wake up .. but that’ll have to be a separate post) except that he never came to the hospital to check on me.  I had a scheduled day to be induced.. told him which day numerous times, and he didn’t come for 2 days – when my OB finally called and yelled at him the morning I didn’t wake up.  Even my father-in-law, who was in the room during his visit, told me later that I was the one telling him what my basal rates, etc. should be, and he was very surprised by that.  But that’s how we’ve always been.  And like I said, I’ve always been fine with that.

Until recently.

When I first found the DOC (Diabetes Online Community) I was in awe.  I had never been around other diabetics like this before. People that GET me.  That are living with the same things I am every.single.day. 24/7.  I am still sort of in awe by it, since it’s only been 2 1/2 months.  Still trying to wrap my brain around the fact that there are people out there that know exactly what I mean when I say that I’m starving while I wait the 2 hours for my CGM to calibrate after putting it in in the morning.  Or that understand when I complain about ignorant people around me who think I can’t have chocolate. They get it. And it’s made me much more aware of my diabetes.

So back to my endo ….  I recently had a friend explain to me that my endo has met my needs up until this point .. but now that I want more out of the partnership, it is ok if I want to shop around.  She said it’s like being in a relationship with someone – would you stay with someone who is a nice person, but doesn’t meet your needs any more?  Interesting analogy.  (Side note – I am anextremelynon-confrontational person.  Frustratingly so.)

So I asked around, , did some research, and got the numbers/names of some local endos.. and went to visit one.  I felt guilty the entire time I was there. Like I was cheating on my endo.  This particular place was a national chain and was more of a clinic.  First ding against it.  My endo has his own practice, it’s very family-feeling and warm when you walk in. This place was like walking into a clinic to donate blood.  But they specialize in diabetes, so I thought they will give me top notch care. My dr is an endo, but he doesn’t specialize in diabetes, it’s just on the list of other endocrine related ailments he is capable of treating.

I was waiting in the waiting room and a lady walked up to me and asked for my pump. What? She wanted to download the info off of it.  Oh, ok, sure. Then they call me back to take blood.   I of course get the newbie tech who takes 20 minutes to find a vein (ouch), and after 2 failed attempts, had to call in reinforcements. 

Back to the waiting room I go.

“Shannon?”

Get called back again, this time by the lady who had taken my pump (who still had it, by the way. As I’m watching the clocking trying to figure out how long I’d now gone without insulin) and another lady.  Both were very nice. One was a Diabetes Educator (which, I haven’t seen one of those in YEARS), and the other was an RN.  Together, they went over all of my pump settings, my meals, my numbers, we discussed, and they made recommendations.  

One of them said I was welcome to call any time between now and my next appt, if I was going too low/high and we needed to make more changes.  I asked how to reach them, and they said call the 800 number and whoever is on call will be able to help me.  Ding #2.

Then they take me to another room, where I wait on the actual endo to see me.  She was very nice (once she finally came in the room.) I explained that I’d been happy with my current endo, but I wanted more.  He doesn’t check my feet, he seems surprised when I bring in my charts/graphs and always seems perplexed as to what changes to make.  She said she understands, and ensures me that I will love it ‘here’.

I was still torn about what to do as I left that day.

But just a couple of days later, I started having serious insurance issues and was going to in turn run out of insulin due to a severely delayed shipment.  This is my life support, people.  It’s not like I have the option to NOT take it.  So I picked up the phone, called my endo, and within the hour, I was able to stop by and pick up a couple of bottles to hold me over, along with some sample test strips because I was going to run out of those, too.  I never would have had that one on one personal experience with the other endo’s office.  I’m not sure my stress levels could have taken the ‘Press #1 for English’ or the ‘Press #2 to speak with [fill in the blank].” So I figure this was my way of appreciating my current endo more.

And I’ve realized I need to be more vocal.  My life is basically entrusted in this man’s hands.  I need to tell him what I like/don’t like. And be more honest (come on, you know we are all not 100% honest with our endo.) I need to actually take my BP and thyroid meds every day, and not just the week of my appt, so my blood work isn’t skewed.  I owe it to him and myself to hold up my end of the bargain in this relationship.

Do I have to stay with him forever? No. But for right now, it works.  And I am someone that wants (needs) that extra one on one care.  It may not be important to everyone, but it is to me.

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About Shannon

I am a wife, a mommy, and a Type 1 diabetic (since '92.) I have had two successful pregnancies - one of which was with twins. I wear an insulin pump- - off and on for 17 years; currently on the Medtronic pump and CGM. I am not a medical professional, nor am I giving medical advice. I am just sharing my day to day stories of someone who lives with this disease every day. My ultimate goal is to raise awareness.
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One Response to Window Endo Shopping

  1. Pingback: Beyond frustrated | No More Shots for Shannon

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