Kortnie at the 2011 JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes, Tempe Town Lake, Tempe, AZ

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Day 23 - A teaching moment

I am behind on my National Health Blog Post Month again, so here I am playing catch up.

Day 23's prompt was "What's something your doctor taught you or you taught your doctor?"

Kortnie's first Endocrinologist was a Type 1 Diabetic himself, he was older and had a weird sense of humor, he was kind of nonchalant, he actually had a combined practice up here on the mountain.  He was a pediatric Endocrinologist, but there aren't enough patients here for just that, so he also saw other kids in pediatrics.  When we first moved here we tried a few different pediatricians for our kids, he was one of them, we didn't like him so we just moved on to the next guy and finally settled on a family practice close to our home instead of a specific pediatrician for just our kids. 

Enter Diabetes 2 1/2 years later and we were back to this certain doctor, he was the only specialist within 180 miles who could take care of Kortnie's T1D, so we felt he was the only choice for us.  We still didn't like him, and now we liked him even less.  I was relieved when he retired, even though now we have to drive to Phoenix for our appointments.

One time we were there for an appointment and he wanted to look at Kortnie's pump settings.  Her pump is locked so that she can't accidentally push random buttons on the front of it and mess up the pump or accidentally give herself insulin.  It locks much like a cell phone does.  To unlock, you hold down two buttons at the same time.  So, she handed her pump to the doctor, remember when I said he was T1D himself, well he actually used the same pump as Kortnie as well, he did not know how to unlock the pump!  Crazy-ness, you'd think a specialist doctor who had the disease he was treating and used the same pump would know about the lock feature, but no, Kortnie taught him how to unlock it.  Ironic I think.  It would be funny maybe, but since I already wasn't fond of this guy it just turned me off even more. 

We do have a diabetes educator at our hospital, who we love.  She mostly deals with Type 2 Diabetes patients, but she's told us that in the past few years she's had a lot more diagnosis of Type 1 up here on the mountain.  She and the hospital cover a wide area of patients, they people within 100 mile radius around Show Low where the hospital is, people from several different small mountain towns.  Over the summer she has started doing trainings with nurses from the hospital on Diabetes, it's an all day training and she goes over the different types of Diabetes, she invited me to come do a talk during the training about being the mother of a Type 1, and Kortnie comes and they ask her questions too.  The training was so well received that the hospital has decided to hold it twice a year, so I went back in the Fall and did the training again.  I was honored to be asked to come share some of my experiences, answer questions and just put some awareness out there. 

You can read about my talk and the experience at A Chance to Advocate and Educate.  I hope to be invited back to the next training, I admit that first time I went I was nervous, but now that I've gone twice I feel like I have more to add and am more comfortable talking to them. 

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