Thoughts on a gentleman in clinic – dealing with life
Why does this man stay in my mind?
Besides his smiling face and general approachability (I could have sat and talked with him all day!), this manâs 15-minute conversation with me brought up everything in life that jumps in the way of being in control of diabetes, or any other chronic disease for that matter. But this gentleman was working with the situations and trying to make things better.
First, he had limited help around him: no one knew how to use the insulin pens, he lived alone and there was no family nearby. BUT, he adapted: he asked for help from the nurse living nearby and returned to using syringes, because that was what was being used. Second, his diet was affected by what he could afford and what was simply available, which is often especially the case with older people not making a lot of money and living alone. BUT he was trying to keep portion sizes appropriate and watching his starches. Third, he admitted his faults in saying that he was drinking too much at times, BUT was trying to make that happen less and I appreciated that he was honest about that with me. And fourth, he had other illnesses, his tremor, that made taking care of himself more of a challenge. BUT he did not just give up and say, “well, I canât give myself any insulin, so that is that.â He sought help in the clinic and with his neighbour nurse.
This is why I think of him, even now. He was a REAL example of how challenges pop up, and why, sometimes, taking control of diabetes is difficult, but that it CAN be done. For someone with this many challenges, an A1C of eight per cent (meaning average blood sugar over three months is between 180-220) is not that bad truly. It could be better, yes, but it shows he is trying.
Until next week, stay safe and healthy Vincies!
Anita Ramsetty, MD [email protected]
Medical Director Endocrine Care Group