Endocrinologist, Je T’adore: A Dysfunctional Love Story

More Diabetes Daily Aug 24, 2011, 6:59 am

It’s complicated, alright?

I’ll admit—for most of my life, I’d rather have visited a proctology convention with my pants down than pay a casual visit to my endocrinologist. For the duration of my 20 years as a Type One Diabetic, setting foot in a doctor’s office would elicit a knee-knocking, sweat-induced, heart-palpitating freak-out fest.

I’m not sure when this phobia set in exactly. At 13 years old, a solo trip into the endo’s office to assert my independence from my mother led to a tear-soaked breakdown. The doctor was strict, harsh, and unflinching. Of course, what he said was valid in objective terms (“This was a silly thing to do,” “Why did you increase your insulin here?” “You are heading straight for complications,” etc.) and even well-intentioned. But it added to a brewing subconscious desire to please the professionals I had to present myself to on a routine basis, a dance I knew would continue for the rest of my life. It brewed a sense that nothing I ever did would be good enough in terms of my disease, and I could never make this disease perfect the way I was supposed to.

Stepping into the hospital, colorfully painted walls and a whiff of sterile antiseptic in the air, I would feel a pull in my gut back to that frightened six-year-old, eager to have the doctors smile at me and tell me that everything would be alright. This phobia slowly progressed over the years and would manifest in self-destructive ways. I rescheduled doctors’ appointments, postponing them as much as possible. I fabricated good blood sugars and hoped to hell I was burning rubber in our Toyota 100 miles away from the hospital before my A1C was tabulated.

The AIC was my ultimate Diabetic lie detector test—as I sat there at the children’s hospital, a technician swabbing the crook of my arm with rubbing alcohol, the similarity to a CIA basement was uncanny. I might as well have been hooked up to a lie detector while a muscled agent named Jimbo tried to g … Read the Rest

Tags: years, hospital, terms, disease, detector, phobia, office, life, endocrinologist, diabetic, alright,