Doctors, who needs them?

OK, so I confess. I have not been as fastidious as I intended to be. I have not recorded every morsel of food that has touched my lips since my last post. I know that this is because I have not been as well-behaved as I should have been. Now that I have been watching what I eat for more than a year, I know what I can get away with. Or at least I think I can. Unfortunately I am wrong. Over Christmas and throughout January, the weight has been steadily creeping back on to the fact that I have now put on 10lbs. I had lost just shy of 3 stone (42lbs) and now I had negated that good work. Over the past year I had mainly avoided bread and bread products, cakes etc (with the odd relapse) whereas I had started to reintroduce it back into my diet. I know now that this is dangerous. Bread is the devil’s work! As a result of my weight increasing, my blood sugar has also been steadily increasing. I used to have it controlled to between 5 and 6 whereas lately it has been more in the high 6’s and 7’s. Not good enough if I want to stay off medication, which I do.

It has not helped that I feel like I have been abandoned by my doctors. They feel that an annual review is enough, whereas I feel that it is not. I tried to make an appointment to have blood taken to check my HbA1c and was told that I could not do so without authorisation from a doctor. I was forced to make an appointment to discuss this on the phone with my doctor. The conversation went something like this…

Doc: “So how can I help you today ?”

Me: “I would like to have my HbA1c tested. I was diagnosed in December 2015, tested again in January 2016 and then in July/August 2016 as I felt that a year was too long.”

Doc: “The national guidelines recommend a yearly test.”

Me: “I don’t feel that yearly is enough for a newly diagnosed patient. I feel like I have been left to my own devices.”

Doc: (indignantly) “What do you mean “left to your own devices” ?”

Me: “I feel like I have had little support or advice from the surgery, other than my appointment with the nurse after my initial appointment.”

Doc: “You attended the DESMOND Course, which is where we refer all of our newly diagnosed patients.”

Me: “Yes, and that course was useful, but again, that was last February and we are more than a year on from that.”

Doc: “Do you know what your HbA1c is?”

Me: “no, that is why I want it tested. Last time it was 37….”

Doc: (cuts me off) “Not the value, do you know what the HbA1c measures?”

Me: “my glycaemic control over the last few weeks and …”

Doc: (cuts me off again) “your control over the last 3 to 6 months, which is why we do not deem it necessary to test more often than that.”

Me: (thinking well why don’t you test every 6 months, then ?!) “well, I feel that I need greater control. I had lost 3 stone and some of that weight has started to creep back on, and I am worried that I am not in control as much as I should be.”

Doc: “OK, we can test it, just make an appointment.”

How difficult was that?! Here I am trying to do the right thing, keep an eye on my blood sugar and try to continue losing weight and getting little in the way of support from the people who should be supporting me the most. Mind you, if I had followed the advice I was given right after my diagnosis, which was to eat more bread and more pasta, goodness only knows where I would be now. Probably with little to no weight loss and with a high HbA1c level. Thank goodness my husband decided to look into it and encourage me to do the same. Doctors, who needs them?!





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