Tuesday, December 4, 2012
Please Don't Retire Anytime Soon
Back before Thanksgiving, I made a trip to the endocrinologist. I do this every three months. But this visit was different.
In my nineteen years of living with Type 1 Diabetes, I have only had two endocrinologists. When I was diagnosed at age 10, I started seeing a pediatric endo at my local children's hospital. Dr. C was my endo until he left the children's hospital after I graduated high school. It was time to find an adult endo.
So I started seeing Dr. H. He was referred by a couple adult T1s my mom knew. Ten years later, he's still my endo. Why? He is always supportive, never judgmental. Even in the throughs of my binge eating and depression, when my A1c was more than a bit high, he only said, "We can do better."
I actually felt pretty good going into my most recent appointment. I mean, I was nervous. I don't think I'll ever not be nervous about going to the endo. But since things have been looking up, I was confident that my A1c and Dexcom reports would reflect that.
Dr. H comes in the room and we're chatting as we wait for my A1c results to come back.
"How long have you been coming here?" he asked.
"Ten years," I replied. "Can you believe it?"
"Wow," he said. "It doesn't seem like that long."
And this is where this appointment became different. Dr. H looked at me and continued:
"You know, I've been practicing for 30 years. When you're a young doctor, you don't think about how your practice will grow and change with you. I have patients who've been with me the whole 30 years. They came as newly diagnosed Type 2s in their 50s and 60s. Now they're in their 80s and 90s, facing new and different challenges in their diabetes. It's really mind boggling."
I sat there, almost speechless I was so moved at what Dr. H had said.
I swallowed the lump in my throat and mustered: "Well, I think that's a tremendous testament to what a wonderful doctor you are."
Dr. H just smiled. At that moment, the nurse came in with my A1c. Dr. H's smile got even bigger. He showed me the piece of paper.
My jaw dropped. "Does that really say what I think it says?" I asked.
"Yes it does!" he replied. "Way to go, kiddo!"
YOU GUYS! My A1c dropped again. I am now officially at the best A1c of my life. Safely. Without too many lows. I still can't believe it.
I know my A1c is just a number. It doesn't define me or my diabetes. But hot damn does it feel good to see tangible evidence that I'm not just feeling better, my health is better.
I wanted to hug Dr. H. I wish I had. I could tell how proud of me he was. He knows about the binging and depression. My amazing CDE at his office is the one I sought help from in the first place.
So thanks Dr. H for all your support. For never making me feel like a failure. And for helping me and so many others for so many years.
Please don't retire any time soon.