Today I had my quarterly visit with my Endocrinologist. I. LOVE. MY. ENDO.
The visit starts off with the usual catching up. . “what’s been going on in your life since the last time?” he asks. Well, I went into a narrative of my surgeries, my infection, my neuropathy, my radiation treatments. . . he listened, leaned back in his chair and smiled at me, then said,”you are pretty amazing to me.” What? Wha? He continued, “You’ve really been through alot this past year and you’re in good spirits and thriving. In the medical profession, I see so many people in different situations and coping at different levels. I just think you’re a really strong, amazing person.”
Wow! I do hear that from others and I’m happy they see my strength, (which is not my own, btw. .rather from my faith) and my warrior mentality. He told me that he admires a Buddhist saying. “There are two kinds of problems; those with solutions and those without. If yours is a problem with a solution, then apply the solution and move on. If there isn’t one. . move on anyway and stop fretting about it.” That was a Dr. R paraphrase. . but, I like it. I told him that I definitely have moments when I break down. My poor husband and mother get to hear most of that. But, I try to be a positive, upbeat person, so I allow myself to feel the down times, but refuse to wallow in it. I give myself an hour to really cry, boo-hoo and blame everything under the sun for my situation and then, I need to go clean something.
After all this mutual admiration, he checked my eyes, my neck and lymph nodes and my feet. Ahhh, my feet. The last four treatments of chemotherapy left me with peripheral neuropathy. It’s most painful at night, with my feet burning and feeling like someone is stepping on them, but numb on the bottom. I’ll never figure out how I can be numb and in pain at the same time. . but, there it is. The pain radiates up into my calves and feels like someone is grinding away at my calf muscles. I’ve been taking narcotic pain killers, just to be able to fall asleep at night and I end up waking up exactly four hours later, requiring another dose.
He poked around my feet and said, “how did you injure your foot here?” What? I haven’t injured my foot. He continued poking around in front of my left ankle, “Oh, this is definitely an injury of some kind, you have a large swollen area here; looks like you’re building up quite a hematoma.” Seriously, I have NO recollection of hurting my foot. I insisted I had no idea that I’d injured my foot recently. He smiled up, “Aha. . that’s what neuropathy is all about. That’s why we check for you. You’re obviously unable to feel your feet correctly and something has happened here. It looks like a sprain maybe or you banged your foot against something.” I have no idea. . but, I’m supposed to ice it up at any rate.
So some refilled prescriptions, a different med to help with the nerve pain, some sample insulin to keep in case my pump dies again, some more small talk and admiration and another appointment in 3 months. Oh, and did I mention? My A1c is 6.3! Woot! I expected it to be much higher with all the surgeries and infection. I head toward the door and he stops me to say. . “if you need anything, you call me, even if it’s not diabetes related. I don’t offer that to everyone. . just the fighters.” Thank you Dr. R. I’ll be back soon enough.