Saturday, July 15, 2017

Bad Luck With Doctors (Part 1)

I started seeing doctors while having T1D symptoms in 1945. The first three doctors we saw did not have a clue. A fourth doctor had my blood tested, and made the diagnosis. He admitted that he was not the right doctor for me, so he recommended a fifth doctor who supposedly knew much more about diabetes. Dr. Davis got me started on animal insulin, and my health improved. I had lost so much weight, and I was not able to walk. I left the hospital with weight gain, and walking normally. I felt great. We thought that Dr. Davis was the best doctor in the world!
During the following weeks I was told that I should never eat sugar. Just test my urine in the morning, and take my shot of insulin. No more urine testing or insulin until the next morning. There were no other instructions. Everything actually went well during the months and years that followed. There were some seizures at night, but my mom became an expert at handling that problem. We did not realize that there were doctors in other parts of the country who knew much more about diabetes. I was very lucky to survive and thrive without the knowledge I needed. So many people were dying from diabetes back in the 1940s.
I saw general practitioners (GP's) 1945-1977, and none of them knew much about diabetes. I had not heard of endocrinologists during those years. I wonder when endocrinology and diabetes specialists began? I continued to survive and was very healthy. The crude devices I was using, and the animal insulin were working very well. Many diabetics were not so lucky.
I was married in 1964, and my wife and two young sons moved from Virginia to New York in 1970. My wife was very good at assisting me when I needed her. My diabetes management routine did not change until 1977 when I started seeing an internal medicine doctor. Dr. B knew so much about diabetes, and he taught me many useful things. Why did I have to wait 32 years to find a doctor like this? (Dr. B is not the Dr. Bernstein you may know.) My Dr. B started A1c's for me in 1980, and I knew so much more about getting better control with my BG levels. My A1c's were initially in the 10-13 range, but soon they were in the high 5's. My A1c's stayed in the 5.4-6.0 range for many years. Dr. B diagnosed my insulin resistance (IR) in the 1990's and prescribed an oral med to help me. I had gained a lot of weight, and the oral med helped me to lose most of it. My IR was under control, and all seemed very good at that time.
(To be continued another day.)

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