Saturday, December 4, 2010

A Tale of Two Doctors -- It was the best of .......

Welcome two new followers of my blog: Darla and Kittie Howard. I'm looking forward to getting to know you. Kittie, I will write a post about an old-fashioned Swedish Christmas and all the traditions that go with it. I can't wait, actually! (Kittie responded to something I said in a blog comment and said she would like to see a Swedish Christmas post.)

On Thursday, I went to Bakersfield to see two doctors, the orthopedic surgeon and my ophthalmologist for my annual retina and eye exam. Last time I saw Dr. T., the ortho doctor, he spent three (3) minutes with me and was very condescending. So this time, I came prepared. I dressed much, much better than usual in some expensive stuff from days gone by. I put on lipstick – that's as far as I went with makeup, but I felt prepared and powerful. I had six questions for him. His office walls are thin and he has a loud voice, so I decided to time him when he saw the patient in the room next to mine. Three minutes, most of it about her visit to Italy – he asked her about it! When he came to see me, he stood over me, like he was ready to just leave!! Well, I drove 60 miles one-way to see this dude, and I came prepared. I said: "Sit down, will you. I have six questions and they all lead up to something I need to know from you." He looked a bit shocked and said he had a bad back, but he did sit. I got most of my questions answered and it felt so good to have taken control of the situation.

Afterwards, I sat in the car and ate my sandwich and enjoyed the magnificent display of fall colors put on by the trees in the parking lot.

The fall colors were not very good in our town this fall, so this was a treat for me

and made up for seeing the arrogant doctor. Oh, yes, I did get ten minutes of his time!! After lunch, I drove to my other appointment. Where it looked more like summer,

with palms, flowerbeds and even bees.

Outside the offices, there is a pretty courtyard with water features, little mini-waterfalls, and pools. Very Zen and peaceful. I was early, so I sat for a while and listened to the water. 

And took a few pictures

of the pretty flowers and

the fallen leaves. The staff and doctors inside the office are just as nice – a huge difference from the orthopedic doctor's office. 

My eyesight changed just a little over the past year, not enough to warrant new glasses. And even better: There is no damage to my blood vessels and everything else is great as well. Phew! The doctor even said that for someone who has had Type 1 diabetes for 22 years, I'm taking good care of the management of my disease. She saw nothing at all wrong. So a great visit for me. But I want to leave a comment here for anyone with diabetes who may read this post.

I asked the doctor if I would be able to tell if I had bleeding behind my eyes. She said that usually a patient doesn't know until it is too late and a lot of damage has been done. Therefore, it is extremely important for people with diabetes to have their retinas examined once a year.

My sister-in-law's husband also has Type 1 diabetes and, as far as I knew, used to take care of it pretty well. Then he neglected to have his eyes examined for three years in a row. And now he is blind. His brother is also blind from diabetes complications.

If you have diabetes, please remember to have your annual retina and eye exam. It may save your eyesight.


  1. You're always good about sharing sound advice as well as sharing the beauty you see! Good for you for taking control of that doctor visit! Almost made him earn his fee for seeing you! I bet he was surprised. :)

  2. Inger,
    I am so glad things went well on both accounts; especially with the arrogant ortho. dr. How dare he? I refused to capitalize the D in dr. referring to him becuase I don't feel with his treatment of you he warranted that! so there to him!
    glad things worked out well with the eye Dr. I have a dear friend who has Diabetes and I continually worry about her and how she is taking care of herself.
    AS for the photos; ahhh, lovely leaves and flowers...pansy's are one of my favorite kinds of flowers!
    Have a great day!

  3. LOL! Strategy! I love it! I always take a list of questions with the most important thing first, Printed (if the printer is working) and PROBLEMS in bold bright red! Have only had one Dr not interested in looking at what I had to say - and I only saw him once.

    I'm glad for the good report. Glad the trip went well, looks nice and warm in Bakersfield! Some days I kinda miss CA. :-)

  4. I am so glad you took charge with that first doctor! Sometimes they really have no manners and can treat us with disrespect and give us no information at all. And if you dare mention the Internet, you get that : "Who went to med school between the two of us?" Very well don, Inger.
    Thank you for sharing the beauty of your autumn with us. I've realized that I wouldn't pay attention to too many things if I didn't have my blog.

    I am sorry I have been absent from your comments.(I did read your posts though). It was just a no no period for me. I am back now:))

  5. They should teach a class in "bedside manner" for all docs everywhere. It surely doesn't come natural for many of them.

  6. Inger, I didn't know that about folks with diabetes! Thanks...I'll pass it on to some of the folks I exercise with who do have it!...:)JP
    P.S. I'm glad you were in control with the ortho!

  7. Good going on your part I don't know why some doctor's have to be this way but I've met a few over the years too.
    You might read my blog post Grok Here as it tells 'an inspirational story' of transformation and this fellow had diabetes which he cured himself with diet and exercise. For sure you would not be able to eat a sandwich anymore. Not saying this would work for you but you might be curious to read how he did this it's worked for many. Take Care Nan

  8. HAHA, loved reading about your take charge attitude with that orthopedist of yours. I use to do medical transcription for thirty years for orthopedists and believe me, they all seem to be like you described - the ones that I worked for anyway.

    great advice too about the eye exams.

  9. I was on a blog hop on one of my favorite sites and I came across your post on driving to Bakersfield for your eye exam. I live in Bakersfield and it was so nice to see someone who lives in my neck of the woods.
    I loved your post by the way.

  10. Way to go my friend!!! You were in the Captains chair and had complete control of the situation. Some doctors believe they are above the rest of us and think they are a God.
    You really do teach the rest of us about diabetes. Thank you for that. xoxo

  11. texwisgirl: Your comment touched my heart. That was very nice of you. I have learned to see the beauty all around me since I both got old and started to blog at about the same time. Interesting and a new thought for me.

    Tracy: It was such fun to see flowers that bright in winter. Pass along my advice to your friend.

    Sharon: I didn't know you lived in CA.

    Barbee: You are so right and this was an old doc.

    JP: I would be so glad if what I say about my disease would help someone.

    Nan: Unfortunately, I have Type 1, insulin dependent diabetes, which is an autoimmune disease and has nothing to do with diet, so I will always need insulin. I have a pump and that makes it easier. It is a completely different disease from Type 2 that most people have. Only 10% have Type 1.

    Sandy: It cracked me up when he said he stood because his back hurt. What baloney!!

    Farm Girl: I'll visit your blog and let you know where I live.

    AJ-Oaks: You are so welcome about the diabetes education. One reason I'm doing well with my management is that I have learned so much about it. Good to have you back to blogging, my friend.

  12. Sandra: It is so good to have you back writing comments and blogging again. I loved to see your beautiful country.--Inger

  13. Way to go with that doctor Inger! Been there once with a dentist. Had traveled 100 miles to get there for a check up and realized I was only going to see the hygienist until I said I want to see the dentist and that I didn't drive that far to see you. The dentist overheard and was there ASAP.
    If we don't take control of our health management, we will sooner or later be in big trouble.
    Great photos Inger. So strange in a have snow and are freezing and 60 miles away it is like summer!

  14. Oh, good for you for standing up to the Doctor. I really detest it when they act that way. Sadly, Medicare has created some of that 'rush'.

    Oh, your mention of a Swedish Christmas brings back such great memories. My mom was Swedish and we always had a wonderful Swedish Smorgasbord at home on Christmas Eve. Sadly we will be traveling, so even if I wanted to recreate the wonderful feast, I won't be able to.

    I can't wait to hear about your Christmas traditions.

  15. Our oldest son came down with Type 1 when he was 15. He is now 34 and I still worry about him. He doesn't realize how dangerous this disease is. I wish he would get the pump. Ninny and I were born in Tulare, an hour north of Bakersfield. Lived there until I was 6 when we moved to Oklahoma. We call ourselves Callieoaks.

  16. I'm looking forward to the post on a Swedish Christmas!
    My ortho surgeon must have been the twin brother to yours. Regardless, I'm so glad you had a good result at the doctors.

  17. My mom passed away at 69, she was diabetic... I'm not sure what type but she took huge amounts of insulin 2X a day and her diabetes affected every part of her body. She went almost blind, then had laser surgery that brought back some of her vision for a short time before she passed. Mom had the body of an 80 year old... I'm glad you posted this, because my sister is a brittle diabetic and I'm not so sure she has her eye exams... which she should. I'm going to encourage her... I'm glad you finally had success with you doc listening to you. Way to go, Inger!!!

  18. Good for you for demanding your time with the doctor! It drives me crazy how some doctors believe their "above" their patients.

  19. Good for you for taking control! This has helped me today. On Tuesday I have to travel to Lausanne to interpret for an international meeting. I'm scared out of my mind because I feel so intimidated by all the business men... and I thought this morning, "Just go, Allison, and dress professionally. You are good at what you do, so just go get the job done!"

    You have encouraged me. THANK YOU!

  20. Good for you Inger! We all need to take more control in our lives. Happy that your health is good too. My brother-in-law has juv onset diabetes and does not take the best of care of himself. I worry about him.

    Love the photos you took around town. The flowers are so lovely to see this time of year, or any time, for that matter.

  21. Way to go with that arrogant Dr. nothing like having a plan and taking charge...after all you are paying for it!

  22. Great story - I'm glad you took control and forced the doctor to pay attention - I hate it when professionals only view me as a cash-cow and have no real interest in my well-being.

    I hope that you are recovering well from your accident injuries.

  23. Jabacue: That's what happens when the first 35 miles are straight downhill!

    livingadream2: I will definitely do that post, but much, much closer to Christmas.

    Christine: Someone has to reach your son. He's too young to lose out to this disease.

    Terry: Didn't you end up with a good one: Treat the patient, not the injury. Who was that? It made an impression on me. A good one.

    Bobbi: I'm so sorry to hear about your mom. My diabetes was pretty brittle too, but the pump helped a lot.

    Roundabout: I never had this experience before. Went to UCLA Medical Center, a teaching hospital, for over 30 years. What a difference!

    Allison: Right on, Allison. You can do it. Let us know how it went, OK. And I'm glad to have inspired you. Clothes do help.

    Nancy: What's up with these guys who don't take care of this disease? It makes me both sad and angry. It is clearly a waste of a life! The flowers were such a nice surprise. So big and colorful and pretty.

    Changes in the wind: Since I moved here, I have had the weirdest doctor experiences. I'm so grateful my diabetes doctor is the only good one so far.

    OneStonedCrow: Hello there, are you back?! I am finally recovering from both my accidents. Enough of all that. Good to hear from you again.

  24. way to go!! so happy you took charge with the doctor and made him work for you. so many doctors are sooo arrogant and it really does get old. and, i'm smiling big to know your eyesight has not worsened and there are no diabetes complications! yay! thanks for the heads up about the diabetes. my dad got diagnosed with diabetes less than a year ago (he is 76) and i won't even tell you what his blood sugar was (he should have been in a coma or dead!)... but his vision is horrible and he refuses to go have an eye exam. stubborn is not the word. i'll forward this post on to my mom to see if we can do anything to get him in. ugh. congrats to you and enjoy your sunday!

  25. Major applause for taking charge with the doctor!! Some can be soooo arrogant. (And, I'm afraid some hustle patients in and out for that office visit charge!) Anyway, happy your eyes didn't change. I'm one of the few in my family who don't have diabetes. Losing one's eyesight is a big possibility too many don't think about. Thank you for spreading the word.

    Lovely pics!!


Thanks for leaving a comment.. ~~ Inger


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