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.

 

-30-

Rick

Views: 176

Comment by shoshana27 on January 23, 2014 at 5:12am

it's terrible how ignorant medical professionals are & how diabetics_ any type_ are treated..........shame on??????????

Comment by Terrie on January 23, 2014 at 6:53am

Information about Type 2 keeps changing, so it's hard for us to know what to tell them or others about it. It reminds me of a Type 2 Friend of ours who didn't believe I had Diabetes, since I was too small to have it. Goes both ways sometimes.

You were right in telling her that she should have an Endo though. Hopefully she will click with yours, if she chooses to be a Patient of your Endo. I'm sure there are many ways of transit for her to get to the Endo including Friends, Family, co-workers, taxi, bus, light rail if you have, etc. If she is a Senior or disabled there may be gov. programs that gives them rides to Dr. appointments for little or no charge and/or volunteers who drive Seniors and the disabled to appointments in the community.

As far as the cinnamon, I'm wondering why the Lady is still going to Diabetic meetings, if she hasn't had it for 4 years? I would have said, it hasn't been scientifically proven that cinnamon helps lower blood sugar but some Type 2's who have used it claim that it does. Certainly try it if you like and let us know if it has helped you. It could help and it won't harm you. (They may also get the placebo effect). (I've never heard that it keeps Diabetes away though). We don't want no wars. :D Put it in your words, of course, if you use it. Saying nothing worked for you.

I think you did fine. Giving the Tud address site and your email address gives her needed support. Do you know of a knowledgeable Type 2 in your area that would participate at the meetings? Do you have a small recorder that you could use at the meetings and play back at home, so you could look up the answers of some questions or ask here of the Type 2's for the next meeting?

Mine is 1 1/2" x 4". Good volume. They make smaller ones, as you know. I sometimes take it to meetings and appointments, to insure that I do not miss any important info. Sorry it's blurry.

Hopefully, others can help you. Other than that, take a nerve pill before the meeting. ;-)

Comment by rick the "Blogabetic" on January 23, 2014 at 7:05am

Oh Terrie and others. It was a chance discussion after a different kind of meeting. It was not a diabetic meeting, and the prediabetic doesn't go to diabetic meetings that I know of. However given her reliance on Cinnamon maybe she should. LOL

Terrie, this is my fault, I should have made it clear it was more of a social gathering. But I love the recorder.

Rick

Comment by Sheepdogs on January 23, 2014 at 1:52pm

Don't patients require referral to endocrinologists, from other doctors? Like her GP or the emerg doc refers her to the endo. If she has a GP she should go see the GP until she can get in to see an endo. She should look for a diabetes education center near her, too. And if there is nothing, then she should go back to that hospital if the meds and instructions they gave to her are making her more ill.

Speaking of cinnamon, ever see what happens to someone who tries to swallow more than a tablespoon of it?

Comment by SpeckleParkMatters on January 23, 2014 at 8:19pm

I think the medical staff at the hospital really let the ball drop on this one...or it may be that this lady did not take their advice or referral and is in denial yet about her disease, which is quite common. Sometimes in the beginning a person just can't or won't hear what they need to hear. Giving her your endo's info was good and maybe she will pick up on it although if she was talking about transportation issues she may be looking for avoidance tactics too. You did what you could do in a social situation, its tough to get personal and specific in those instances. As far as the cinnamon, it may help somewhat but definately will not prevent/treat type 2 alone, she needs to go to a diabetic treatment centre for education on diet, exercise and treatment options that are medically based before she goes the alternative medicine route.
I think you handled it pretty good for the situation, hopefully she gets involved in her care and seeks info out. Like the old saying, "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink" might apply here.

Comment by DaveH on January 24, 2014 at 6:42am

Terrie,
While I'm not sure about proof that eating cinnamon will stave off T2DM, I know several studies have been done that show cinnamon can be useful in lowering Bg. Here's a link to a Mayo Clinic article the notes the effectivess of using 500 mg cinnamon capsules to achieve better a1C's.

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/diabetes/expert-answe...

I also read somewhere recently that it is only a special type of cinnamon that helps this way. I can't remember the type and am not completely sure this is accurate.

Dave

Comment by Terrie on January 24, 2014 at 5:34pm

Dave, it also says that more research is needed to confirm these studies since too many times studies are done improperly.

Anyways, I springkle cinnamon on my food frequently since I like the taste of it. I'm all for it. :)

Yes Sheepdogs, I saw thaton tv. Ridiculous! Those were Kids/teens that were daring the other Kids to swallow the tablespoonful of cinnamon which causes a choking hazard. Kids can be cruel!

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