This week I had my first ever appointment at Joslin. It started a little stressful because of my lack of paying attention to the time and my dislike for the Longwood area. I get inside and I got directed to the Beetham Eye Institute, where I thought I would be getting my eyes dilated, but that wasn't part of my plan that day. Instead I went upstairs where I met a very nice woman who helped me check in, and I received a folder with a whole bunch of information. I started with the Joslin Vision Network where they took pictures of my eyes. I have never had this done before. The woman showed me different parts of my eye, but since I did a research project on macular degeneration in college, I kinda knew what I was looking at. I found it a little eery though knowing I was looking at my own eyes. We talked about the specific parts of the eye, me needing a dilated eye exam, and then I went back to the waiting room. I emailed & texted friends until I got called in by a nurse who took my pump and meter to download it, and take a quick sample to test my A1C. Back to the waiting room. The nurse came back and handed me my pump. My site is currently in my leg, so I was a little hesitant to reconnect in the middle of the waiting room, but I'm at Joslin, so, what the hell! I reconnect, go back to my phone and wait for the nurse practitioner. I want to give them some sort of nickname, but I feel it either is too obvious or doesn't do her justice. So I will just call her my nurse practitioner. We start talking, but how do you put 21 years of diabetes history in just a few sentences? So we talked about my diagnosis, but that was a lot of "I think this is how it happened...", and how long I have been on the pump (March 16, 2002), and if I've ever been hospitalized for DKA (yes, twice). We went over my pump and meter printouts, and my A1C. Since I test about 15 times a day, a sensor probably wouldn't help me, except overnight. Good thing since I'm not ready to fight with insurance yet. My A1C is higher than my BGs portray, so we're focusing on the overnight. Although I'm not excited about waking up in the middle of the night for a while. But if it helps me get my A1C down, I'm all for it. And considering my last official A1C was way higher, 8.2 is definitely something to start to be proud of. For your information, this is not where I want to be, but the downward slide is something I'm planning on continuing. We changed my sensitivity factor, talked about my shin splints and I got a new meter to match the test strips my insurance actually covers. After I got my prescriptions from her, and when to see her again, I went back into the waiting room to wait for the Diabetes Educator. At this point, my stomach was screaming. I was so nervous that I hadn't really eaten anything all day. But I go back to my phone and I finally open the folder and I find out that there are two surveys that I am supposed to fill out. I start filling them out and I get kind of frustrated with them because well some days my answers might be a one and somedays they might be a five. (That one had a lot of questions about frustrations about living with diabetes.) And then the diabetes educator comes out and calls my name, so I gather all my things, including my log book (which no one actually looked at) (and is a binder) and walk back with her. It was a little later than my scheduled time, and I'm a patient that technically doesn't mind, but the nanny taking care of Girl Genius has already called me, so I'm a little bit nervous about that. (I checked the message and there was no emergency.) So we go back and we just start talking. We talk about how long I've had diabetes, where I got taken care of before Joslin (I will always love you Dartmouth), how I treat a low, and what to do on a sick day, and all those sorts of fun things. She also asks me what I talked about with the nurse practitioner. We go over my surveys a little bit and I speak about how I made comments on mine because diabetes can't be characterized by one number. This diabetes educator was a fast paced woman who treated me like an adult!! Yes, I'm 25 years old, but during my college years I wasn't so confident about diabetes (and with good reason), so now I'm here and this woman is looking at me like a peer. We talk about the information I know and how to use it. Both the educator and nurse seemed surprised that the doctors and nurses were knowledgeable from Dartmouth. She asks me if I wanted to attend classes, and I too hastily said "NO!" and she laughed, but with good reason. Classes aren't aimed to people who are already knowledgeable. And I am knowledgeable about diabetes; I always have been. It's just a difference of knowing the information and correctly applying it to my life. In that whirlwind visit, I got a "blue book" (which I should have looked at by now, but haven't), talked about overnight testing, and agreed to come back in one month. The other thing we talked about is my weight. I am not where I want to be, but I'm also not too big. She asked if I gained weight since I've been on my pump. "Well, Diabetes Educator, I got it when I was sixteen. So yes, but I don't think the pump is the reason why." We both laughed at this, because my pediatric (pediatric = favorite ever!) endo had talked to me about this. And my fluctuation in weight over the years has really never been related to the pump. It's just life.
I feel like the end of this post is a little whirlwind, and little all over the place, but that is how the meeting went, so I'm going to leave it. I feel empowered now. I feel in control. I feel great, and when my day started I didn't think that is how I would feel.