I looked at the stats to my blog this morning and saw the search term, “percentage of non compliant diabetic type 1 patients 2011.” Well, if you listen to Wendell Fowler, then I guess 120% of us are! Seriously though, I hate that term. I wrote a previous article about the term noncompliant and called it an evil word.
If you are a patient trying to figure out if you are in the minority of those dubbed noncompliant, no, you are not alone. My question to you is, is it that you just don’t care or is it that you just don’t know what to do? Although I know there are people that don’t care, I do believe that the majority of the people dubbed noncompliant just don’t know what to do and get little help from their doctors.
The good news is, if you are searching for information online, you are on the way to figuring out some of the things you need to do. There are plenty of people writing blogs that share their struggles and share tips of the things they have learned help them. Maybe because I grew up left handed in a right handed world, I am a big believer in the fact that just because something works for you does not mean it will work for me and vice versa. The more ideas that you get, the greater the chance that you will find something that will work for you.
Join an online community like TuDiabetes or Diabetes Daily – over 20,000 people belong so whether you just read posts without joining or post a question, you will learn a lot. There are books like Using Insulin by John Walsh (or Pumping Insulin if you pump) and Think Like a Pancreas by Gary Scheiner. Those books will teach you how to do basal testing, figure out carb ratios and correction factors – all things that your doctor most likely never discussed with you.
If you are a doctor or nurse searching to see how many noncompliant people are out there, then SHAME ON YOU! Have you actually tried to help your patient? Do you understand that we are all different and just because one of your patients has success doing something one way does not mean all your patients will. Just because it does not work does not mean that they are noncompliant. It means you need to look for a different solution.
Have you asked your patient if they would be willing to do basal testing? If their basals are not set correctly, the rest of what they are trying to do is sitting on a faulty foundation and will cave in. Are you using a sliding scale from the dark ages or have you taught your patients how to do carb counting and adjust their insulin doses accordingly? Do you believe that Lantus is a once a day insulin or have you suggested your patients try splitting their dose into twice a day? Have you suggested trying Levemir if Lantus doesn’t work or do you believe that Lantus and Levemir are the same? Does your patient show signs of having gastroparesis but yet you think that their blood sugar should be perfect? Do you actually listen to what your patients try to tell you? Have you read sites like TuDiabetes or Diabetes Daily to get a feel for what we go thru on a daily basis?