(Originally posted at My Diabetic Heart.)
So, last week I had my first appointment with an endocrinologist. For the last six and a half years, my diabetes care has been overseen by my primary care doctor, but due to some struggles I’ve had and changes that I wanted to make, we agreed it was time for a referral to an Endo. Initially, I was excited about the change, but as the appointment grew nearer, my nerves got the better of me and panic set in. I was Expecting the Inquisition.
Well, I survived that appointment. In fact, it went much better than I feared it might. I do have some reservations about it, but I’ll get to those in a bit. First, the good parts.
Doc D. is a young guy, maybe 34 years old at most. I’m 31, so we’re close in age. He was attentive, listened, and took the time to get to know me and my situation. He asked a lot of questions and documented my responses as we went along. I appreciated how thorough he was, and the fact that he took the time to process my information and put his recommendations in writing before he tried to explain his thinking behind them.
He revised my meal time insulin regimen, giving me a coverage plan that is more logical and better suited to my needs. That should help a lot. He left my Lantus and Victoza doses alone. He also prescribed the oral type 2 drug Jardiance for me to try, and suggested that I add a coenzyme Q10 supplement to help strengthen my heart and increase my energy levels.
Doc D. also said he wants to check my pancreas output with a c-peptide test. He was a bit surprised that I’d never had one. And since he was ordering tests, I requested that he order GAD65, IA-2, and insulin auto-antibody tests while he was at it. I practically begged my PCP to run those tests, but they were never done. Now, they will be. So, I have that bloodwork to look forward in two months.
He took his time and didn’t rush through the appointment. That was huge in my mind.
And…. AND…. There was no mention of my weight at all. Let that sink in for a second… The doctor did NOT focus on my weight at all. I’m really not use to that. I was honestly kind of shocked.
His focus was more on nutrition. Eat better, the benefits will follow. Hey, I agree with that logic. I know it works. But the means of getting there are where some of my reservations begin.
Doc D. is something of a paleo diet evangelist and strongly “encouraged” me to adopt that diet and to severely restrict my carb intake. He wants me to give up a lot of things that I’m just not sure I’m willing to ditch completely. I have a real problem with having to deprive myself of the things I love, and I have no desire to go back to starving myself like I did for months after I was diagnosed. While the results at that point may have been beneficial for a while, it ultimately lead to a major crash and burnout. I don’t need that again. I’m willing and wanting to make some changes, but I’m not sure the paleo diet bible is one that I’m willing to thump. And I’m certainly not going to be beaten over the head with it.
The other major reservation that I have concerns the drug Jardiance that I mentioned above. I had never heard of it, but through some research I’ve learned that it’s basically Lilly’s version of Invokana. It’s an oral type 2 drug that is supposed to help my body dump excess sugar when I take a leak. I’ve heard mixed things about that class of drugs and I’m incredibly leery about starting it.
I have two issues with this. One, yeast infections are listed as common side effect of this medication. If you’ve read my story, you know that’s what lead to my diagnosis in December 2008. It’s understandable that I wouldn’t want to venture down that road again. Secondly, do I really need another medication on top of what I’m already taking to treat my diabetes? I’m already taking Victoza, Humalog and Lantus. I think that’s enough. And I’ll spare you a rant about the additional monthly cost of that medication and the CoQ10 supplement.
So overall, the appointment went well. I have some strong reservations about some things, but there were some really positive things that came out of it. I’ve got some clearly defined goals to work on as far as my A1C goes, a better insulin regimen, a new supplement that seems to be helping to boost my energy, and hopefully a doctor who will be the same at the next visit as he was at the first. He listened, he was thorough, and didn’t leave me feeling judged. I see him again in September.
Time will tell.