I’ve never canceled an appointment with my endocrinologist before. But this month, I am tempted.
I’m worried about what my A1C number will say. I’m five pounds heavier than last visit, and I don’t want to get on the scale. Not only that, but I’ve been taking my sugars faithfully and I don’t like what I’m seeing: days when I note a spike in the middle of the day or afternoons when my sugars drop too low.
I have no one to blame but myself. After all, those numbers are all about me. On the days they went up, I probably ate a little too much. Two pieces of dark chocolate instead of one (or maybe, on some days, three). An extra serving of healthy vegetable soup which, while full of nutrients, can mean higher blood sugars. Or, maybe on some days I skipped my exercise. Or stressed out about everything.
And now I’m afraid to see my endo because I’ve failed diabetes 101, and I’m ashamed: “What will the doctor think of me?”
But, despite the fact that I still didn’t lose those five pounds or that my sugars aren’t quite picture perfect, I’m still planning to drag myself to the appointment – even if I’m kicking and screaming.
1. An A1C doesn’t measure how good or bad I am. It only measures where my blood sugars have been, and that’s worth finding out. It may be that my body is not metabolizing my medications the same way as I age, or something else that needs to be identified medically. The doctor may be able to fine-tune things to make it easier for me to reach my goals.
2. I may need to change my diet. Going to the endo may be a prelude to visiting the nutritionist once more. Since diets are different for every person with type 2 diabetes, it might be time to tinker with mine, maybe going back to a very low-carb diet for a while to get back on track.
3. It will give me a deadline. If I have been cheating here and there on my diet, seeing my endo might grant me a “do-over.” Together we can make a plan, and I can rethink where I am and where I want to go.
4. Hiding never solved anything. Would I skip a dental appointment because I didn’t brush my teeth a few times? Would I miss an allergy shot if I’d been sneezing? Probably not. So why let diabetes take up more emotional freight than any other medical condition?
5. It will make me feel in charge. If I don’t go to the doctor, I’m going to have to reschedule, anyway. But by facing the doctor on the correct schedule, it shows that I own this disease and that it doesn’t own me.