This morning I had an appointment with my diabetes case manager – the certified diabetes educator (CDE) I meet with in place of the invisible endocrinologist who simply signs off on the prescriptions she writes. I had only met with her once before, but I liked her from the start. Even so, this morning as I drove to her office, I kept reminding myself that I was going to be honest – I would let her know that I’m barely exercising, that I am not calibrating as often as I should, that I’d only just started replacing my CGM sensor before it lost accuracy. These were likely things she’d be able to see as soon as she plugged in my CGM and glucose meter, so I knew I’d need to be up front.
But I didn’t need to worry. Instead, we sat down to a lovely conversation that meandered from a clear pattern of nighttime lows to her new grandchild. We talked about wedding planning, about a potentially confused primary care physician’s statin recommendations, about lab results, about the importance of having a port light on a glucose meter, about my “cute little” diabetes supply case, and (of course) we talked about Chris. It was a well-rounded conversation, I think.
We also talked about insulin pumps and my desire to go back on one to gain better control (it’s gotten to the point where a fraction of a unit puts a smile on my face – you can’t do that with most insulin pens!), then we talked about why I wanted the kind that I want, what infusion set I should try first, when I might be able to meet with a pump trainer, etc. I had stopped using an insulin pump about three and a half years ago. It was a pretty big deal, and in some ways felt like I was taking a step back in time. I wrote about the struggle this decision caused when I blogged for “Big Red” – but didn’t mention there that the pump I’d been using would become occluded after about 12 hours of use and blood would go up the cannula into the pump. Yuck! But now I’m excited to go back on a pump and know that if I want to take a break from it, I can always do that. More on this later, I’m sure. For now, I’m just excited to get the process started.
At the end of our conversation, we discussed next steps, hugged and I left he office with a huge grin on my face. When I looked at the clock I realized I’d been talking with her for a full hour. If anyone out there thinks that the amount of time spent with care providers doesn’t matter, I will say this: You’re wrong. I felt so much more empowered to do what I need to do to manage my diabetes better because our conversation covered so much more than dosages and lab results. It covered many aspects of my life, similar to the way diabetes impacts many aspects of my life.
The sad news? We also talked about how she is retiring in two weeks. I’ll be sad to see her go, but thankful for the gift she has been to so many people with diabetes.