Post number three of NHBPM. Yes, I’m already a few days behind, but I usually take the weekend off anyway, so totally expected. The point is, I’m here now and I’m writing (loving it too!).
The prompt: “A post about a conversation with your doctor”
As a person with both Type 1 diabetes and hypothyroidism, I see my doctor a lot. As a person with a still semi-working pancreas that has managed to sputter and spew insulin sporadically for the past year, I have been able to keep my insulin injections low since my diagnosis. This is what my doctor calls the “honeymoon period.”
Every time I go to see my endocrinologist, Dr. A, we have the same conversation. It goes a little something like this:
Dr. A- “How much Lantus are you taking in the morning?”
Liz- “16 units. I noticed my numbers were a bit higher than what they had been, so I raised my insulin up by a unit and it seemed to help”
Dr. A- “Great. That’s probably happening because your pancreas is still creating insulin, but it’s going to stop at some point.”
Liz- “Because I’m in the honeymoon period, right?”
Dr. A- “Right”
Liz- “So…. do we know when this is going to end? Like, what should I expect. How do I know the honeymoon is over?”
Dr. A- “You’ll start seeing really high numbers unexpectedly. That usually indicates the honeymoon is over.”
Liz- “And, when will this happen?”
Dr. A- “Well, you’ve been in the honeymoon state for about a year now. Usually it lasts only a few months, but it can last up to a few years.”
This kind of conversation about my semi-working but slowly failing pancreas has happened at almost every visit with her in the past year.
That’s the funny thing about diabetes. There are so many unknowns. My doctor can’t answer my question about when my honeymoon period will end because she doesn’t know. Everyone is different and if that isn’t one of the most frustrating things, I don’t know what is. Actually, all of the unknowns of this disease are pretty frustrating. Personally, I just have a level of frustration that comes from waiting for the ball to drop. To wake up to my blood sugar in the 500’s, a number I haven’t seen since my diagnosis. To realize that I no longer have naturally made insulin running through my body.
This isn’t the only conversation topic where my doctor can’t answer my questions. I get a lot of “I don’t knows” and it’s not because she’s a bad doctor. She works in one of the best endocrinology offices in Northern Virginia. I get those responses because she honestly can’t answer my questions. When it comes to my health, I like to be on top of it. I like to feel like I’m in control. With diabetes, learning to accept the unknown has been one of the hardest things to do… but isn’t it always hard to accept the unknown?