I’ve been suffering from diabetes burnout like many in the DOC or maybe it's a combo of diabetes burnout and burnout in general. But know that I’m not alone.
I wanted to write this post immediately after my December 10th eye appointment, but I needed to marinate on the info for a bit and ingest it for myself.
And I decided the first Monday of 2011 would be my time to write about the subject.
So, lets start at the very beginning.
A few months back, I received a phone call from my Eye Specialist’s office at Wills Eye Hospital. I knew my appointment was in December, so I had no clue as to why they were calling.
Office: Kelly Kunik?
Office: Ohhhh, hi. This is Dr. M’s office.
Me: Hi! I thought my appointment was in December?
Office: It is - We have some sad news. Dr. M unexpectedly passed away two weeks ago.
Me: OH, NO! HOW?
The office was tight lipped on the HOW & wanted to know if I was interested in seeing one of his partners. I was and I passed along my condolences to his family.
I hung up the phone and started to cry. Dr. M and I had a rocky start because we met under such extreme circumstances.
But we spent a lot of time together because of the 1 in a million thing and I learned that Dr. M was a gentle & caring man who was perplexed and sad about my 1 in a million experience. With each visit,he grew more personable, compassionate, and positive. He calmed me down and understood my fears, and together we maneuvered through the 1 in a million shit storm and got through it as a team.
He listened to my fears and concerns and he was just as elated as I was when it was confirmed that my 1 in a million experience was not diabetes related.
And at the end of each visit, he never missed the opportunity to tell me so.
The morning of my December appointment, I woke up with a rare, crazy low at 3:30 a.m.
One of those lows that leave you sweating, shaking & engulfing any food you can shovel down your throat because your so afraid of passing out.
The kind of low that leaves you with a 6:30 a.m. blood sugar of 280.
My appointment was for 8:30 and I was freaking out!
I took a correction bolus and prayed that my blood sugar would return to an acceptable level by the time my eyes were dilated.
I walked in the office & once again noticed that I was the youngest person in there.
I paid my co-pay, sat down and tested. 172. YES!
I was called into the back room where one of the med techs dilated my eyes and asked a series of questions.
What was your last A1C? 7.4
Why aren’t you in the 6’s anymore? I’m not really sure.
Most likely a lot of different things combined. Diabetes is a FULL TIME J-O-B.
What was your blood sugar at breakfast? 280, but I had an extreme low at 3:30 and over treated and now I’m 172.
I never judge patients blood sugars. Any flashes/floaters?
Some floaters every now & then but no more flashing electric green flashes.
What do you see out of the damaged eye?
It’s hard to explain, bits & pieces in the corner, a bit in the center- it’s really hard to explain.
There was the battery of tests that required me of covering one eye at a time &reading the charts, follow the techs fingers, etc.
The Good eye was 20/20 with my glasses on. The bad eye was not.
They sat me in the hallway and then I was called into the Dr’s office and I waited.
Finally, Dr. X walked in.
Dr. X: Hi…. Oh my god, your so young!!
Me: Did you not read my chart?
Dr. X: Well I guess I didn’t read all of it. I saw diabetic for 30+ years and NON Diabetes related Occular occlusion and I just assumed you were older.
Me: Never assume anything AND read patients charts. Maybe it wasn’t the nicest thing to say, but I was pissed!!
He made me explain the whole non diabetes related, ocular occlusion thing and then he started shinning ungodly bright lights in my eyes and talking to his assistant in words I didn’t entirely understand.
He wasn’t positive like Dr. M, who always said that my 1 in a mill eye was looking better and healthy and pink.
Dr. X made no bones about calling the inner workings of the eye in descriptions that just made me feel withered and beaten up.
Then it was on to the left eye. Which he described in glowing terms, and I breathed a sigh of relief. BUT.... I breathed it to soon.
Dr X: Eye in very good condition overall - with the exception of two,tiny pinhole hemorrhages……
Dr. X: Let me finish my notes!!
But I lost it after that, I started crying and I couldn’t stop.
Me: You don’t understand, if anything happens to this eye it I’m screwed!!
Dr. X: CALM DOWN! Look, I’m not surprised; you’ve had diabetes for 33 years, I'm surprised you've actually avoided this issue until now.
This is more normal than you think and not as horrible as your perceiving - RELAX.
Look, you’ve had a year where your A1C has been 7.3. We need to get it back in the 6’s - these might actually self correct.
We can’t touch your eyes with just 2 little hemorrhages - that would actually cause
more damage than the hemorrhages themselves. But we do have to keep an eye on them.
They weren’t even there at your last visit - They’re relatively new.
I see that your A1c’s used to be in the 6’s – “used to” being the operative words.
Me: Gee, I don’t know? Maybe the whole stress of the 1 in million thing, which just totally blew, and continues to blow my mind whenever I really think about it.
Excuse me Dr., but I was bascially thrown through the shit wringer from a
non-diabetes related,1 in a million, universal eye fuck up and it stressed me out!
Which, in turn caused me to just feel so overwhelmed with the whole diabetes thing!
I test, and I test often - Living with diabetes is second nature to me.
I work so damn hard every day regarding my diabetes - but I get tired sometimes!!
I know I need to exercise more, I know that when I used to workout daily my A1C’s were golden.
Then my Dr. dies and his replacement doesn’t even take the time to read my chart,
wouldn't you be stressed?
You know, Doc, I write a blog about living with diabetes, it’s a big part of my life.
And honestly I just feel like a hypocrite right now. A scared, tired, diabetes hypocrite failure, but a hypocrite nonetheless!
Dr. X: Look, make an appointment for 6 months and get your A1C back in the 6’s and lets see what happens.
Me: No, I want an appointment in 3 months, not 6 months!
Dr X: OK, fine. 3 months it is. Kelly, Calm down, work on your A1c and relax!
Me: I will – and Doc, I REALLY hope you read the rest of your new patients files more carefully.
And I walked out without looking back.
I made an appointment for 3 months and went to my car.
It was almost 10 a.m. and I had to get to work - I was already late.
As I was driving tears, started to role down my face again and I said the following words out loud:
I'M SO SICK OF THIS SHIT.
And for some reason, I felt better. ANd then I decided that I was going to get my A1C where it needed to be. I'd done it before, I could do it again - Maybe self correction was possible.
Or, maybe those two tiny pinhole hemorrhages would stay so tiny - To tiny to have babies and become something more.
And then I started to think about the diabetes on-line community & how I'd be more stressed out if I wasn’t part of the community. And again, I felt a lot better.
And I wanted to talk about it with you guys, but I didn’t quite know how or when.
So for the next couple of weeks I sat on the info and made the decision to write about it on January 3rd - my first official post of 2011. Why?
- I want to be honest with you
- Diabetes blogging is about the diabetes of it ALL
- I knew that by telling you what happened and my plan to reignite my diabetes flame that sparks a better A1C result, there’s a better chance that I actually will do what I set out to
- I'm not alone in my diabetes - THANK GOD.