Tuesday, June 19, 2012

No Lectures

I have been a very non-compliant patient for the past 3 years. 

I was diagnosed with Diabetes in 2007 and I was pretty tightly controlled within a year of my diagnosis . In fact, I remember crying in my doctor's office after she told me for the first time my A1C was perfect and all of my hard work was worth it. I felt so accomplished after I left the doctor's office.

Many life changing events happened after that. I was given a promotion at work, stress levels went through the roof, I needed a break from dispatching so I left for almost a year. Coming back in, I took a huge cut in pay. I could no longer afford my medications, testing strips, and doctor's visits. That's not the only reason I became non-compliant. I was 100% tired of testing, eating what I was supposed to, being chained down by a schedule, taking pills, injections and having to be bothered. So, I stopped. I figured it would only be for a year but then it turned into 3 years. 

I am sure the health-nuts in the world are just gasping for breath and looking down your nose at me ready to give me a lecture. Well, save your breath. I don't care what you think and I am definitely not soliciting your opinion. I am sharing this for my family and friends so they have an idea what is going on my life. Just for clarification, I am not soliciting opinions of my family and friends either. I am a 36 year old woman. I do NOT need a lecture. I repeat, I do NOT need a lecture. I welcome your support always but if you do not know the difference between a lecture and support just don't say anything. 

When I went back to the doctor for a non-related issue I was subjected to a blood test to see if I was anemic. I knew what this would mean. I even thought about refusing the test. I went through with it and I was refered back to my endocrinologist to get things "under control" I absolutely love my general practitioner though. Dr. Paul Kyte is the best ever. I absolutely trust and respect all of his decisions with my health. So, in the mean time he made sure I had a couple of prescriptions to start getting things under control. OK fine but I don't have to like it. Oh and so that you don't cheat and just say you are going to make an appointment they made me call them back and give them my appointment date. 

So, I call the damn endocrinologist and since this is probably the biggest practice in the Austin area you have to see the Physician's Assistant first and once in your lifetime you MAY get to see the real doctor. The place is like a cattle hearding facility and I hate going there. It feels like going to the principals office after you get caught cheating on a test. It runs a very close second only to the Gynocologist office which I also had to do within the next few weeks. 

I was completely stressed out and angry that I was found out and sent back. I had to figure out what I was going to say, how I was going to afford my medications, ugh thinking about going back to Wal-Mart pharmacy for prescriptions :-( Everything just really started pissing me off. I wanted to be free, I didn't want the hassle and I still don't. I completely don't. There was only one reason I could think of that made me keep those appointments. One day down the road when my life is the best it can possibly be will probably be the day my kidneys fail. Damnit. 

So, off to the doctor I go. I armed myself with the thought that I will not be lectured and to focus on the fact that I am back and trying to do the right thing against every feeling in my body. I sat in the waiting room for an hour and this was the satellite practice in Round Rock. I seriously considered just walking out but then I figured they would send a bill for the missed visit. I finally sat down with the PA. I am sure my body language and my attitude showed how much I wanted to be there but she was a trooper and stayed positive for me. She was kind enough to remind me that I was tightly controlled before and there was no reason I couldn't accomplish the same thing. She asked why I took a sabbatical and when I told her it was for financial reasons she didn't bat an eye. I cringed waiting for the lecture to come next but it didn't. She asked me if I was still having financial difficulties I told her yes followed by the history of my sad salary. She did everything she could to help me out. Another meter, more sample test strips, sample medications and a free bag! It's really sad when you leave the doctor's office with a bag full of crap. 

I am really not looking forward to going back for my followup visit but I will. I am trying to get back into the groove of things again. I hate this groove. I am back on a pill and injection schedule. I carry around the stupid little weekly pill holder thingie and my meter. It weighs my purse down and makes me pissy just thinking about it. I have to pre-plan if I am not going to be home to make sure I have enough medication, testing strips, lancets, glucose and pen needles to last until I can restock. 

I did decide that saving $4.00 a month on prescriptions is completely not worth my time if I have to endure waiting in line at the Wal-Mart pharmacy and then being so completely surprised when they don't have my complete amount of medication available and I have to go back. I need to save money but I need all of the sanity I can get right now. 

When you're diabetic I am told that it is important to visit other doctors as well. Semi-annual dental cleanings and yearly x-rays, Annual eye appointments with dialations, and of course, gynecological exams to make sure you're as uncomfortable as possible puts the cherry on top of my sundae. I can't wait to spend more money on that stuff. 

I must vent about testing. It hurts. I don't care how many damn people with diabetes tell me it's not that bad, It is that bad to me. It hurts. I hate it. I hate that stupid little lancet gun thingie so much I finally quit using it. It either send that lancet so far into my finger it feels like it's digging for a bone marrow sample or it doesn't even touch the skin. I have tried all of the settings and it does not work for me. I am defective like that. So, instead I just use the lancet itself and poke my own finger that way I know when it's going to hurt and how deep it's going to go. I am in control. Yeah, it still hurts damnit. And testing strips? WHAT A SCAM! You can not tell me these little thingies cost that much to mass produce. $55.00 for 50 of them. If you test more than once a day...you're really screwed. My prescription plan does not cover test strips. It is completely ridiculous. This is why thousands of people have to chose to eat or pay for medications, especially those without insurance. 

"As tiring and monotonic  it gets to educate  people of the different types of diabetes, how eating too much sugar will not give them diabetes, how not every Fat person in America is diabetic and not any diabetic is a fat slob." - The Poor Diabetic blog. http://thepoordiabetic.com/fighting-diabetes-perceptions/

I guess I should stop here but don't be surprised if you hear more on this soapbox later. It's something I am just gonna have to do no matter what I really want. The day that I am truly happy and content with life I want my damn kidneys and liver to be working.