Shopping for Your Medical Team

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If I have said it once, I have said it a hundred times. YOU did not cause your diabetes and YOU deserve to be treated with respect by your medical team.

I had the honor/joy the other day of speaking (online) with one of the readers of on my website. The reader had some questions on bread choices. After sharing the bread products I have found that work for my diet, the conversation took an unexpected turn. Just to be clear, my website is about working with what foods you can eat and creating an eating plan that is more fun and interesting for you. The purpose is to assist you in making living with diabetes a little easier. I do not ever give out medical advice. I am not qualified to do that.

My reader expressed distress and anger with the endocrinologist that he was sent to see, and how this doctor continually harangued him about his weight, and how if he just lost x number of pounds his diabetes would be under control. BUT the doctor offered no assistance or advice in how to shed the pounds while maintaining a healthy and diabetes- compatible eating plan. He would go to the office, sit in the little room, and wait for the white-coated doctor to make an appearance. The white-coat would flip through his folder and give him the results of his tests. Sometimes he would make an adjustment to his medicines, set up new tests and another appointment for three months. This would be followed by the lecture on taking off the pounds.

My reader exercises regularly, watches his diet, has gotten his A1C and fasting numbers in to very good shape. It is clear that he is really working at controlling his diabetes. And yet each visit is ended with the harangue and my reader leaving the office dejected.

One’s medical care, in my (not-so-humble) opinion, should be a total partnership between the patient and the doctor. The doctor has to be there not only to advise you, medicate you (if needed) but just as importantly to support you. Isn’t it just as important that your doctor acknowledges that you are making progress and encourages you to make more progress? How much does it help to be yelled at by the doctor? I know, I know, the doctor is busy. Haranguing may be the fastest way for the doctor to get the point across. Does it work?

I am lucky. My doctor looks at my lab results, smiles at me, and says:

”If your arms were longer, you could, and should, reach over and pat yourself on the back”.

He follows this up by patting me on the back. I am 110% sure of four things. First: that his encouragement helps me to work harder and controlling my diabetes. Second: that he is not the only doctor out there that is supportive of his patients. Third: he does not blame me for my diabetes. And last of all: he is not a pill pusher. He AND I discuss my progress and what the best course for my treatment might be. It is up to both of us to decide what I should do and what medications we could consider.

My only medical advice to my reader and any patient out there is to shop for the doctor that helps you to control your disease and supports you in your efforts.

If you need help expanding your menu so you can stick to a diabetes-compatible diet, I am your guy. Just don’t expect me to berate you for not liking to eat….say….mushrooms?

ENJOY!!! Be happy, be healthy, and BE DECADENT! –w!

Source:Ward Alper, the Decadent Diabetic