The Loss of a Member of My Diabetes Team
The loss of my family physician
I just lost a valuable member of my diabetes team. My family physician. The doctor that has been with my family for 25 yrs. He met us when our daughter was 6 months old. He delivered our son. He is retiring. I realize that I may sound overly dramatic but this ia a loss for me. A huge loss. I am happy for him. I wish him only the best.
I haven’t yet figured out what this means for me in terms of my diabetes care. He walked with me through the diagnosis. He has been the quarterback of my team for my care. His coaching kept me off medication for a number of years. He cheered me on when things were going well. He listened and advised when things were not. Sigh.
Where I live it is very difficult to find a new doctor who can take new patients. New doctors just blink and their practice is full. There are long waiting lists, sometimes a year or more. Add to this that my definition of new means ‘new to me.’ I want, perhaps need, a doctor that is experienced, more specifically, one that has experience with type 2 diabetes. I don’t want a kid doctor. Don’t get me wrong. Young doctors are smart, whoa, very smart. I mean no disrespect but smart is one thing. Being able to apply smart is another. Not to mention, those of us who live day in and day out with diabetes, often know more than the doctors BECAUSE we live with it. I don’t want to teach a young doctor about diabetes. Not a criticism either. Those in general practice can only learn so much during their training. I fear not having the guidance I have had, the doctor I can rely on to smooth any speed bumps that may occur with the other professionals on my diabetes team.
My new doctor
Right now I have the benefit of an endocrinologist who is amazing. I have a cardiologist who is exceptional. I guess I should consider myself lucky that I have them. And I do. They are both very skilled. But what if I disagree with ‘the plan?’ Who do I turn to? Who will help me understand what I may not? Who will provide balance when I find myself tipping away from the other professionals’ advice? Sometimes we need a case coordinator. I’m the case. My family doctor has been the coordinator. It’s always been my family doctor I have turned to.
I have my name in with a ‘new’ experienced doctor. To be honest, I had met him a few times when he was covering for my doctor. I don’t really know him but my doctor always spoke highly of him. The reality is, he may not be able to take me as his patient because he has a pretty full practice already. I’m waiting for the call from his office. Then. What if I find out, he’s not as knowledgeable or supportive….? There are other professionals who are able to help but I haven’t had good experience with them. I guess I just have to trust (psst, not my strong point at the moment).
I feel lost. And I’m not sure how to be found.