Diabetes Diagnosis: Need Perspective on Dr. responses (long)

Ok - I posted last week asking for general advice about nutrition - now I need some perspective on how the Dr.'s office is dealing with us.

Background: My husband, Scott, has a family history of diabetes - both parents & 1 grandparent had adult onset. His mom just had a heart attack earlier this month & her Dr’s attributed a large part of it to her condition.
So Scott went to the Dr’s (new doctor for us) & got a blood test.

Here’s where I need help.
A week ago Monday, one of the nurses from the office called with the test results & the diabetes diagnosis. (Strike 1 - shouldn’t this info be communicated face to face?)
The phone call was basically the stats from the test & the diagnosis, along with a called-in scrip for Lipitor (hi triglycerides too) and Glycophage.

The follow up appointment? 3 weeks later. The meeting with a nutritionist? Three and a HALF weeks later! (Strike 2 - what are we supposed to do in the meantime?!)

When I call to get more info - the nurse isn’t available & calls me back, sometimes a few hours later, sometimes the next day. (Strike 3?)
I called about nutrition info - very vague. “No sugar, low fat, don’t worry about sodium for now”.
Does he need to test his blood - “not yet”
When he was exercising & suddenly lost all energy - “he should eat something before exercising”

SOOOO - last night, we had dinner (pasta) and he had a Pepsi One - first caffeine he had in a while. He took both pills about 20 min apart after dinner. He got NO sleep last night - anxiety & restlessness - stomach doing flip-flops. He had this same reaction to a pain med a few months ago (hydrocodn/apap) - but not for this long.

Needless to say - I’m calling in again this morning - maybe they’ll actually get back to me before 5:00p this time :rolleyes: .

On top of all this - we’re going to Florida all next week - what do we do if this happens again?

I’m really starting to wonder if we should see another doctor - I just don’t feel like we’re getting the support we need. So - those of you who’ve been thru this or any medical-types out there - am I beng over-protective?

Have you had poor response from your doctor’s office on other occasions, or is this the first time you’ve had something other than checkups done? When I was diagnosed with diabetes, it was two months before my scheduled appointment with the nurse who explained testing & diet to me, so I was flying blind for a while.

If you can afford it, go ahead and buy a blood sugar monitor and start testing now. They’re about 50 bucks, and the test strips are kinda expensive, but for the sake of peace of mind, it’d probably help a lot.

Test before each meal and two hours after. I haven’t tested in a while, but from what I remember, you’re looking for 80-120 before a meal and under 150 after. The documentation with the tester probably has more info, and there are lots of websites out there with more accurate numbers.

The up-all-night problem sounds like low blood sugar, also known as the “end-of-the-world” feeling. The way to check that if he doesn’t have a blood sugar monitor is to have one slice of bread, then wait 15 minutes. If he feels better, it was low blood sugar. Remember that feeling. It’s important. If he doesn’t feel better, it’s something else, but I wouldn’t think one can of soda would have enough caffeine to do that. In either case, he’s better off with a little bit higher blood sugar than a little bit lower: he won’t have to go to the hospital with high blood sugar unless he really overloads his system, but just a little bit low and he could be in serious trouble.

Normally doctors’ offices only communicate diagnoses face-to-face when it involves a death sentence. :smiley:

Seriously, though, a diagnosis of diabetes isn’t a death sentence anymore. I know a bouncy, happy 6th grade girl named Courtney, and an intense 7th grade boy named Trenton, both of whom manage their own diabetes very nicely, thank you, with injections and everything. Trips to Florida–no problem. :wink: You learn how to “manage your illness”.

You sound scared, like you need to educate yourself some more. :wink: It’s good to be an Alert Consumer when it comes to your doctor, but it doesn’t sound to me like you’re being fobbed off with half-answers. Today diabetes is rather routine, and is probably 98% self-managed, with not much input from the doctor. I’m not surprised that your busy doctor’s office doesn’t feel like doing a lot of hand-holding. They almost certainly are assuming that you are going to be an Alert Consumer and do some research.

So, “what you’re supposed to do in the meantime” is educate yourself. Sheesh, you’re sitting there at your computer keyboard with the single greatest medical resource in the history of the human race literally at your fingertips–the Internet. Put “diabetes” into Google.

Go! :smiley:

This is our first experience with this doctor/office… we’ll see who it goes. I did hear back from the doctor this morning - the Glucophage dose may be too high - suggested trying a half-pill.

Too low sounds about right - he felt better for a bit after a bowl of cereal around midnight & then this morning, after breakfast.

Will talk with hubby about the testing - he might want to put off poking himself for as long as possible…

I’m also relieved to hear that it’s not too unusual to go awhile between the diagnosis & the nutrition counseling.

Thanks for listening/reading - guess I’m a bit protective/defensive.

could not agree more with the recommendation to get a blood glucoe monitor. Sounds like your husbands anxiety/restlessness was due to metformin induced hypoglycemia.

I’m a neurologist, but I have a few general practice patients, including people with diabetes. My policy is to educate these patients about diabetes and the rationale and side effects of anti-diabetic medication. Glucose monitoring is crucial.

The main problem with treating diabetes is hypoglycemia. Patients need to be aware of the symptoms. Treatment is simple…a candy bar or those oral glucose tubes. Carry two in your pocket…