A New Diabetic
Recently I was in a small group of somewhat familiar but not well known people discussing diabetes. There was a recently diagnosed type 2 diabetic in our group. The person was truly overwhelmed and they had many questions, few answers, and several issues.
The newly diagnosed diabetic had very recently been released from the hospital. She entered the hospital with a blood sugar of just over 500 and because of her age she was diagnosed as being type 2. She was in the hospital for three days given insulin and when her blood sugar reached normal levels she was switched to a treatment regime including diet, exercise and Metformin. Upon release she had an immediate physical reaction that caused her to be readmitted. She was in the hospital for an additional 5 days while the medicine was adjusted. She was then released for the second time and told to find an Endocrinologist for further treatment.
She had been out of the hospital for two weeks, had not made contact with an Endocrinologist and was full of questions about her disease. Her questions are why this impromptu group was assembled.
In the group was five people who live with diabetics or who are diabetic, I was the only type 1 in the group, so despite my experience, I was viewed as somewhat of an outsider. I will admit to not understanding type 2 issues on the upfront and ask that you remember that fact as you read this blog.
The first issue this impromptu group discussed was credentials. I of course was the type 1. One gentleman’s partner was a long term diabetic. He was clearly a well versed type 3 who had good insights. One gentleman told of being a type 2 diabetic who had been healed. I know my ears went up when I heard the word cured, but this makes some sense when you know the back story. It seems he may have suffered disease related type 2 onset. That is the onset was caused by an illness which reduced his ability to produce insulin. After the secondary illness was dealt with the doctors choose to give him a pancreatic transplant in 2006 and that transplant was successful. So to him he was cured, frankly given his history I would feel that way as well. The third person was a male who had been told he was prediabetic and he was making changes to reduce his risk of onset of the disease
So this small group came together to discuss diabetes in general and this lady's questions in particular. The first question she asked was why she felt unstable and shaky all the time? I asked what her blood sugar was? She did not know she was released with a meter and 25 test strips but was lacked understanding about how to use them or why. I imagine she was low and now that she is in the real world her medication needed adjustment. I told her to find an Endocrinologist immediately. Some discussion ensued about if a person can be low using Metformin. But I believe it was the general consensus that she could be low using Metformin.
How long will she have this? It was difficult to help her not latch on to the idea of getting to a transplant to cure the issue. Giving a living breathing type 2 ‘cure’ one can understand. She left looking for that cure and I hope she finds it. I just could not step in and explain the difference between a pancreatic issue as a result of an illness and typical insulin resistance. My caution was ignored.
What endocrinologist should she use? I gave her the name of mine and she had someone from the hospital. However transportation was an issue for both. It seems unfair that transportation might control how she is treated.
Other things she should be doing? Then it came up. Use lots of cinnamon. Our member fending off diabetes suggested it had kept her diabetic free for over 4 years. How do you respond to that? What do you say? It was social situation so short of starting a war what do you do? I personally wanted to scream. I let it go and didn’t comment so anyone have a better idea?
So here is my question what would you do differently? I gave her the TUD web site address and my email address in case she wants to reach out. She let me know she lacks intent service. Any thoughts, I have replayed the exchange in my mind several times and frankly I do not know if I would do it differently? Remember this is a social situation confrontation is not acceptable. Give me a better idea, I am all ears. This Type 1 could use some ideas.