It’s a question I’ve heard a few times, most recently today. It usually is a response to me chattering about blood glucose surges and how my pancreas came to be destroyed by sub-surface anxiety.
An older woman I work with listens politely but when I appear to go off the rails (fight or flight…cortisol kicks in…glucose monitor goes off), she kindly asks simple questions such as the one above. I get her point, and I told her she’s not the first to pose the question to me.
Let me back up a bit. I had a telephone consult Monday with my new diabetes doctor, the one who helped me get the special authority required to renew my Dexcom continuous glucose meter. As part of the introduction process they, quite reasonably, put in a requisition for blood tests. I went by the lab after work yesterday and by this morning, the results were available online. I was relieved and unsurprised to see nothing much has changed. All my results are within healthy parameters with exception of my blood glucose. It’s at the same level as it was 20 years ago, when I first was diagnosed with diabetes. It’s a slow progressive illness, and it’s reasonable to assume I was living with high glucose for 20 years before that, or all my adult life.
During that first conversation with the doctor’s associate, I was told that statins are often given to patients as a precaution. I said no thank you, I’ve heard too much about the side effects. Plus, I don’t believe in taking any pharmaceuticals unless I need them.
Of course I had to bring up the whole fight or flight theory leading to cortisol destroying my pancreas thing…and I got the usual silence. Medical professionals don’t know what to say when I head off into the foreign world of emotional responses causing illness. I mentioned how last week, I was sitting on the couch scrolling through Facebook and my rapid-rise glucose alarm rang. I had a glucose spike even though I had not eaten for hours and I was enjoying a break from work. What’s that about?
After a bit of silence, the doctor’s associate brought the conversation back to the fact I have Type 1 diabetes and I need better control of my blood sugars. I was exasperated. Why do I even try talking to doctors about this? It feels so hopeless, trying to get find a doctor who will consider the idea that childhood emotional neglect can result in adult illness. I sighed and I reminded myself that I actually am very healthy. My body is showing remarkable resilience against sickly sweet blood. The blood tests my body’s condition isn’t all bad — it’s actually pretty damned good.
I made clear that I don’t want to take long term insulin due to the problem with weight gain. The associate said I could try Ozempic, although I don’t really need an appetite suppressant — I can fast for days thanks to will power. She also suggested Jardiance, which kicks blood sugar out through the urine stream. Then she suggested that an insulin pump would be a good fit — the pump injects short-acting insulin as needed throughout the day and night. It takes injections out of my hands, which is a bit scary. I like control. But I’ll try anything that makes sense to me.
So do I think too much? I try not to. That’s why I resubscribed to a meditation app I like — it trains me to shut down the chatter in my brain. And sometimes, when I think about my mom being loving, my glucose drops.
A friend suggests this doctor and his team may come around once they get to know me better. That’s a thought that gives me comfort and it reminds me that I don’t need to push everything I know at them on the first day. I’ll let time pass and the relationship to build. Good things may come of it.
Leave a Reply