I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes on November 12, 2010 at 20 years old. I knew absolutely nothing about diabetes when I was diagnosed and looking back at the past 3 years amazes me at how far I have come. I’ve had some rough patches especially with the medical professionals in diabetes ‘care’ units. My first experience with a nurse who was supposed to help me was very unpleasant and I had to file a complaint with the hospital. I left her room crying because of the hurtful words she said to me. I had a crap endocrinologist who couldn’t even look me in the eye. I learned about insulin pumps through a friend and asked him about it. He laughed and said its a stupid device don’t do that and waste your time. I was so shocked because I had never heard a doctor speak like that. I decided there and then that I was done with him, the nurse and multiple injections. The only good thing he ever did was to refer me to my present diabetes team.
This team deserves a shout out. I have a wonderful, understanding endo, a great nurse, and amazing dietician. I also see a great social worker. My endo is a very understanding and helpful doctor. He truly has a passion for patients and for his work. I had a nurse who was really great and she started me on the pump but now I see another who is equally amazing. So kind hearted and she really listens and keeps you updated with clinical trials and studies. My dietician is an amazing reference and so welcoming. She’s willing to jump quickly on the computer and find you helpful tools. I always feel empowered and proud of myself when I leave my appointments.
I must admit when I first heard I was seeing a social worker I was scared. I had a bad experience with a therapist who basically put words in my mouth and very obviously wanted me to say what she wanted to hear. I was 13 and could deduce that from her behaviour. Seeing a social worker came into my life at the best possible time. I was struggling with dealing with diabetes, actually taking my insulin, check my numbers, etc. She gave me the most simple tools that have had a great impact not just on my diabetes but my life. People with diabetes need insulin but I needed more – I needed a social worker.
To these great professionals, I tip my hat. I want to thank you so much for the hard work you do. I want to thank you for listening to me and making me feel good about myself. When you say things like “congrats!” or “this is something to be proud of” I do take it to heart. I hope I get to stay with this team for a long time 🙂 and I hope there are other teams that are as wonderful as mine :). For the ones that fall short, insulin isn’t the only medication to treat diabetes. You have to care about patients and be dedicated, otherwise in my opinion just stay in the lab. In my experience, no doctor can be better than a crappy one.