Dear Dr. B (endocrinologist),
You were the lucky doctor rounding that weekend at the hospital in 2010 when I was admitted for a new suspected type 1 diabetes diagnosis. Oh yes…lucky you. I understand that I was in denial, that I argued with you and told you that you were wrong, (I might have even called you stupid) followed by complete ugly-cry sobs. You even put in my medical records that “patient does not want to talk to me right now,” “patient may need additional time to come to terms with her new Type 1 Diabetes diagnosis.” At one point, you wrote in my medical records that I was begging you to give me more time—a week at least—to go home and let me think about things before I had to start taking care of my disease (you said no, you big jerk).
When I refused to give myself injections, you told me I would be dead in a couple weeks. I stubbornly said “So be it.” You said FINE, I’LL give you injections- every day- here at the clinic until you can give them to yourself.
You personally even called me at my home before my appointments to make sure I’d actually show up and reminded me of the importance of getting the insulin injections. Some of the appointments I showed up for, others… I didn’t. You even left me voicemails when I saw you calling and refused to pick up the phone, saying “Nicooooooollleee. You had an appoinnnnnntment todayyyyyyy. You need to take this more seriously and come in.” I was just too terrified of needles.
You told me I was the worst patient you had ever had in your entire history of being a doctor. And I told you I’d make you a better doctor because of it. (and I really did, you have to admit). You even took a picture of me on your iPhone so, as you put it, “you could show your wife and family what your worst patient looks like.”
In the end, you appealed to my insurance company to cover an OmniPod insulin pump, pleading with them that I would die without it – literally- due to my inability to do the shots myself. Miraculously, they covered it.
I just want to thank you, Dr. B, for being more patient with me than I could ever ask for. 2010 was the first year of diabetes and I sure didn’t make it easy for you. I lived in denial most of the year. I felt so bad that by Christmas time, I bought you a bottle of wine and a box of truffles as a Christmas gift/thank you/survival kit for putting up with me.
And when you sent me a Christmas card in return, you thanked me and wondered how I knew JUST what you needed. It reeked of sarcasm (and possibly wine stains?)
So much has changed since then. It no longer takes me 6 hours to poke my finger and change my pods. Look at me now! Now I am mentoring some of your other hellion patients who are –gulp-just like I was. Who saw that coming…??
Anyway, thanks Dr. B.
With Warm Regards, your "FAVORITE patient,"