After my first diabetic review in January I had been told that I would be reviewed again in a year. A year? A newly diagnosed person with a chronic illness and there would be no real follow up for a year? I felt that a year was far too long and that I had been pretty much abandoned by the medical profession. They said I could make an appointment myself if I needed anything, such as podiatry but there was no offer of anything particularly useful, such as a dietitian. Although I know that diabetes can lead to nerve damage and that’s why it is important to look after the feet, my feet are absolutely fine and I look after them myself. I can still reach them for one thing, which is more than a lot of Type 2 diabetics can do!
I decided in August that I would make an appointment to get blood taken myself. I phoned the surgery and asked for an appointment with the nurse. “Why?” asked the receptionist. “To get blood taken.” was my response. “Which doctor asked you to have the tests?” “No doctor, I want to have them done myself.” Silence. “You can’t request to have blood taken yourself” she said. I told her that I was newly diagnosed and that I was told to have a review in 6 months, which finally seemed to pacify her and I was given an appointment.
I went first thing in the morning, although it didn’t have to be a fasting appointment this time. While I was there I asked the nurse to take my weight, which was around 78kg. I liked to have it recorded at every visit, so that they could see how serious I was about managing the diabetes myself. I was in and out pretty quickly and had said I wouldn’t be back at work until 9.30 so I treated myself to a Costa coffee and a raisin swirl as a reward for being good. The results would be back in a week they said, but they would call me if there was anything unusual.
I waited a week and then called the surgery to find out my result. First time it had been 59, last time it had been 45. I gave my name and date of birth to the receptionist and told her that it was my HbA1c result I was looking for. I was fully expecting it to be around the 40-45 mark, but one of my friends, who is a doctor thought it might be below 40, which I thought was being overly optimistic. You could have knocked me down with a feather when she said “37”. I had to ask her to repeat it, as I thought for a moment she had said “57.” “Three-seven, thirty-seven?” I asked. “Yes, oh and there is a note with it from one of the doctors to say well done for getting it back to within the normal range.” Wouldn’t it have been great if it could have been the doctor I saw originally. It wasn’t, but you know what? I’ll take it anyway!