Can I Tell Someone to Check Her Blood Sugar?

Yes, I know I can’t do that – it was more of a rhetorical question!

One of my neighbors is a Type 2. I started talking to P last year when we were both involved in a committee to raise funds to build a playground for the kids where I live.  When I first asked her what type she was, she did not know that there were different types. 

Over the course of the summer, I found out that P was planning on having lap-band surgery to reverse her diabetes.  It seemed like every time the subject would come up, she would also say that her diabetes was not that bad. 

I started using a pump at the end of June and had my Dexcom on me and that usually managed to beep once every time we were around each other.  Because P is friends with the manager, she was also aware of the times that I passed out and the manager had to let the EMTs in.  She actually came over with the manager the one day after the EMTs were here and offered to help me get my bedroom cleaned up because it looked like a cyclone had hit it.  Her comments about the “good diabetes” made me feel like my diabetes was bad – this coming from someone that did not even know the difference between the types.

One day when she said it, I asked what her A1c was – that is not a question I would normally ask someone.  Being someone that has a lot of struggles and health issues, I certainly know that an A1c is not something that defines a person good or bad and I am not sure why I even asked it!  Her response was what I expected – “I don’t know.”  The maintenance man happened to be in the community center and heard me ask her.  He laughed and said that she probably did not even know what an A1c was.  She said that she knew what it was but did not know what her number was.  I of course was wondering how she could say that her diabetes was good when she did not even know what her A1c was – but I did not say it.

She had a bunch of things that she had to do before she was able to have the lap-band surgery.  One of those was meeting with a dietician.  We were working in the community center the night before her appointment with the dietician.  She was supposed to bring in a list of things that she had eaten for 3 or 4 days before her appointment.  She started working on her list there.  That particular day, several of the women went running around together and they had lunch at a fast food place.  She did not want to put on her list what she really had so made something up.  She also said she never ate breakfast but she put something down for breakfast every day.  I tried to tell her that she needed to be honest about it but she felt that her saying what she really did would stop her from getting surgery.

When we did the Christmas party for the kids, she was not helping and I found out that she had her surgery.  I saw her again sometime after the beginning of year.  I was curious about how her blood sugars were doing after the surgery so I asked her.  I was very surprised to hear that she had not tested her blood sugar since her surgery.  The surgeon told her to stop taking her meds (I think she was on Metforim but I can’t swear to that).  Unfortunately, she also did not change her eating habits.  She told me that she was baking cakes regularly – she would have a piece and give the rest away.  Please don’t take that statement as a criticism of her eating habits, my concern and the point of this article is the fact that she is not testing her blood sugar but is continuing to eat high carb foods. 

At the beginning of the month, I took my rent over and was talking to the manager.  The manager told me that P had lost some more weight but was very tired.  She said that she told P that she should see M and have her thyroid checked.  M is P’s doctor.  She is also one of the doctors that I wrote about in my I Don’t Get Doctor’s article.  She is the doctor that told me that there was nothing wrong with my thyroid when I was sitting there with copies of labs on my lap showing that my Free T4 was so low that is was not even registering a number.  Dr. M would not know a dead thyroid if it fell on her head.

I knew that Dr. M was P’s doctor but I have never mentioned my short 5 month spree as a patient of Dr. M.  I also knew that P knew Dr. M before she became a doctor so my words would have fallen on deaf ears if I had said anything to her. 

The manager has heard me and another woman talk about thyroid and how tired it can make you so I am sure that is where she got the idea from.  P is on thyroid meds and since Dr. M is her doctor, I would not be afraid to bet that she is not at an optimized level so it is very possible that her thyroid meds need adjusted.

My first thought was not thyroid but blood sugar. She has not checked her blood sugar since surgery and she is continuing to eat cake every day.  I would love to know what her blood sugar is.  I can see Dr. M saying “you are cured, there is no need to run an A1c.” 

I would very much love to hand her a meter and tell her to check her blood sugar, but I know I can’t do that.

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2 thoughts on “Can I Tell Someone to Check Her Blood Sugar?

  1. I’ve been in the same boat as you with someone who doesn’t know too much about their diabetes (or do they want to know?). It’s almost like they are in denial? Like you say – thyroid / diabetes – for her being tired – who knows. I’m like you – latter – diabetes. I’m always amazed at the T2’s I meet tho’ – many don’t know what their A1C is – as well they only test their BG’s when they “think” about it.

    When I was in Spain last month – my T1 friend – whose on a pump – knows her A1C is somewher near 10% – but doesn’t have time to bring it down. She only tests her blood sugars when she has time (I think she did the most testing when I was there with her – and she was all over the place). She told me I was anal about my diabetes – well – I do have a thing for bums in sexy guys – so I didn’t really mind that statement – but still – as a T1 – what she is doing is scary (she has many complications as well).

    Sigh – do you think we’d make good white coats? I don’t know if I’d be able to go home at night – wondering how my patients are doing?

    • Anna, I think we would make great white coats! But you are right, it would be hard to go home & night and not worry about what out patients are doing. I know that would be impossible to do because I am a worry-wart.

      I have been called anal also – the funniest one was from the neurologist who had a T1 wife diagnosed the same year as me. The same neurologist who also told me to try and maintain tight control so I could either slow down or halt the neuropathy. But if I try to do that, I am anal!

      Glad you rubbed off some on your friend though –too bad it wasn’t a permanent rub off!

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