Wednesday, May 21, 2014

What Complications Have Taught Me

I was so bummed that I missed out on the Diabetes Hope Conference yesterday. My coworker is out on vacation so I am covering for her and it was too tied up to be able to join in. I was able to attend last year so I am sad I missed it this year.

I was thinking about what I have experienced from complications. I have learned a great deal about how Dr.'s treat patients when having complications as well. I have found there is a great deal of judgement from Dr.'s who do not work with Diabetic patients frequently. They tend to view you as a failure and treat as you are not going to listen to them or follow instructions properly. I think that there is so much stigma attached to Diabetic complications that a great deal of Dr.'s I have meet tend to treat me the same as they would previously. Even though I follow instructions and do what i am supposed to. I also have had issues when I tell them my A1c number they tend not to believe me and I have in the past had copies of the blood work. When I pull out my A1c number they seem surprised. I know my Retina specialist kept insisting that because I have Retinopathy that I have to also have high Cholesterol and high blood pressure but I don't have either. That part makes me angry because the Dr. does not seem to get that Diabetes varies from patient to patient. The results for me will not be the same for everyone.

I think a great deal of the Dr.'s I have meet think because I have complications I have given up years ago and don't care. I don't think they are taking in consideration of what it is like for a patient with a chronic illness that sometimes we do better than other times not because we are not trying. I know for me I have had my bumps even with good A1c's and I have to work even harder now because I have complications and don't want them to progress further so I keep my blood sugars tightly controlled. I think they are not considering that after many years patients get tired, agitated, frustrated and list goes on. I know I wish my Dr.'s knew that I want and deserve to be treated like any other patient and they need to put aside any judgement of me as a patient. I need them to work with me to keep me as healthy as possible.

I know as the patient I have seen where patients with complications are not given the standard tests because they assume it is related to Diabetes but by the time they found out there is permanent damage done by the time they finally do the test they would have run for a healthy person. I know as a person with complications I do not let my Dr.'s slack or not do what they are supposed to. I will fire a Dr. so fast because I am paying them to help me and if they are not doing enough I need to find someone who will.

I have learned that I need to continually make sure that I am getting what I need from my Dr.'s and that I need to make the most of the time that I do have. I try to be the best patient and I expect the same of my Dr. So I am very picky after some of my experience the past couple of years because of seeing in person what can happen when the work Complications is in your medical file. I also know when you read your medical records which all patients should do. I like to see read what the Dr. is saying as well. I know now that I am and have been making sure that I get the care I deserve regardless of having complications.


  1. I'm sorry that you weren't able to join us, Tarra! I think you would have really enjoyed it, and I *know* I would have loved hearing what you thought of it.

    Your willingness to talk about your experiences with complications has contributed a lot to the growing conversation in this space, Tarra, and I really appreciate that. Thank you for being brave and opening yourself up. I know it's not easy.

    1. Thank you Scott. I know the Hope Conference meant so much to me personally because being able to further discuss things opens up more opportunities to share what I have learned. I appreciate you continually supporting me when things have not always been easy with the complications.

      I know they don't really teach you how to deal with complications and I think we almost need a handbook of how to deal at times. Thanks for continuing this initiative to push for further discussions. I know I am seeing more and more people open to talking about complication over the past couple of years and I know we are getting there. Thanks for the support your awesome Scott!!

      I was so looking forward to listening to the conference but I am going to take some time off next year so I won't miss it. I think it is worth taking the time for such an important conference.