Saturday, February 26, 2011

New Endo/Nervous Jitters

So, it's been almost two years since I've seen an endocrinologist. Don't judge me. I try hard not to be a bad diabetic, but sometimes the world doesn't really help me out.

My last endo experience was pretty awful. I was a graduate student, with crappy insurance coverage to begin with, and had to see a specific endo on my student insurance plan. I had no choice. And had to pay $$ out my ears to see said endo. There were many reasons my last endo and I didn't get along, not the least of which included:
  • Poor practice management (messing up countless Rxs, losing my test results, making me wait HOURS for a 5 minute visit, etc.)
  • Giving me no help what-so-ever with diabetes control, i.e. if you can't give me insight into what's going on with my diabetes treatment that I can't figure out for myself (after 18 years of having Type 1), I'm not going to wait hours to see you for 5 minutes to have you tell me something I already knew
  • Trying to kill me with "preventative statins" (In his defense, this is a controversial subject, and he couldn't have known I would have one of the worst side-effects from them), and then getting mad at me when I wanted to find an alternative to statin Tx
  • Telling me "well, we'll just have to deal with your high numbers until you can afford to go back on a pump." What the what?!!
  • Misclassifying me as a Type II on my medical record & drivers license medical form, even though I've been a Type 1 for EIGHTEEN YEARS. Sheesh.
  • Not understand or being willing to work with me WHAT-SO-EVER on my limited budget.
  • Should I go on?
So, there was that whole experience that kept me from seeing an endo. And then there was money. Lat year, I got new insurance, and the option to see other endos, but I had a SUPER high deductible, so I avoided it, because I would have to pay the whole thing totally out-of-pocket. Luckily, just through my GP, I was able to maintain a pretty darn good A1C for MDI.

This year, we finally have a better insurance plan! I have a super LOW deductible, and made an appointment to see an endo as soon as I could! I couldn't get into the one I wanted to try until the end of this month, and my appointment is coming up on MONDAY!

And I'm terrified.

I SO want to jive with this endo. I've had amazing endos in the past (when I lived in a different state) and I want this endo to be like those. According to her practice web-site this endo's practice specializes in treating Adult Type 1s, and they have a lot of the other features in an endo I want like in-between visit e-mail contacting, in-office A1C & lab testing, a PA who is a CDE and a pump trainer for lots of different pumps and certified to do CGM training, etc.

But, what if this endo is awful, too? I am normally a highly motivated patient, when I have the tools I need at my disposal, and I want an endo who will work with me and not blame me or make things difficult for me. After 18 years of this mess, I'm just so tired of doctors and having to fight with them for what I need and want. Is it too wrong of me to just want things to be easy for a change?

So, any advice, peeps? I'm willing to give this endo a good chance, I won't write them off after the first visit (unless they do something really crazy like tell me I should try to ween myself off of insulin).

How do you all go about searching for an endo or doctor that you'll be able to work well with? What do you look for in a doctor? What questions do you ask when you first meet them?

Wish me luck. Here's hoping that things go smoothly for a change!

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