Ok, so I'm in a better mood today. Yes, diabetes layers over everything. But most days that's managable. I realized that when I get the most blue, the most freaked out, is when there are too many health issues to deal with at the same time, too much choice, to much interconnectedness, too much to navigate. Do I go with traditional medical protocol for my shoulder or do I do acupuncture, yoga, pilates? How is my diabetes impacting other random health issues? Traditional medicine works for diabetes. But it hasn't worked great for the shoulders. Hm. And what happens when the non-traditional practitioner debunks the traditional methodology? Naturpathic vs. dietician? Synthetic meds vs. natural herbs? Help, I'm swimming as fast as I can. I can choose, but what if I choose wrong? It all feels so big and confusing and daunting sometimes.
But I discovered something yesterday, that I think is really going to help. I live in a city with a big teaching hospital, where I go to see my endocrinologist, gynecologist and any other random specialist I might need. Well, at my hospital they now have a new service offered through the women's clinic where, for a relatively small, non-insurance covered fee, I can work with an internist who will serve as a holistic caregiver as well as a knowledgable navigator and medical partner. They are available 24-7 to answer my questions and also help me navigate the labrynth of different doctors and specialists. They see me as a diabetic AND a woman. And they take the time I need to assess all the medical issues I face as well as help me develop a reasonable and effective strategy in moving forward. It's not that they take the place of my beloved endocrinologist or my gynecoologist, but rather, that they have the TIME neither of the others have to TALK to me about all the intricate, complex details I face. And they really understand what I'm talking about. They don't just see me as a shoulder or a pancreas. In a word, they see me as dimensional. And they can help with all the other wonderful people and information I have to intersect with on my health journey, to remember that that it is so. I can't believe this is for real.
Oh my god, I feel so relieved. I saw this wonderful, young physician yesterday and she spent an hour and a half with me, reviewing my full medical history. We talked about my concerns as a person with diabetes, who when dealing with other medical issues and specialists, I'm only seen through their specialty filter and not holistically. We talked about the fact that diabetes is always a layer. We talked about how complex it can all get. We talked about how tiring the process of dealing with all the details can be.
But now I have a knowledable advocate, navigator and partner. Now I feel less alone in the process, and as such, I feel less burdened. Less burdened. That alone is worth the price of admission, as far as I'm concerned. Add to that, the fact that the clinic also has an acupuncturist, naturopath and physical therapist on staff in addition to the traditional physicians, and well, I feel like I'm in medical nirvana. No more wondering if the two approachs will agree. No more worrying that one approach will be contraindicated by the other. These folks talk because they work together and respect each other. I just show up and we figure out what makes the most sense for my care. One stop shop. Talk about customer service! This is truly the first time I feel like I'm being seen for what I am as a patient. Dimensional, complex, interconnected. And because of that, I feel safer, less burdened and more likely to get the care I should.
Happy girl am I!