I’ve been watching old episodes of Doctor Who (I’ve now been acquainted with the Fifth Doctor), who (in case you don’t know who I am talking about) is not a medical doctor. But the “Doctor” in Doctor Who led me to think about my doctors, mainly my GP and my endo, and their nurses and other staff.
I’m truly grateful for having a good medical team. Members of my team are more than just issuers of metformin prescriptions or overseers of medical checks. They are part of my control over Type 2 diabetes and my health in general.
Mind you, they are not perfect, but they are as close to a dream team as I could hope for. For one, they talk to me. I mean, they actually ask me pertinent questions and listen to my answers, my difficulties, my complaints, and my little triumphs in living with a chronic condition. They explain the results of my tests. They tell me what they think we should do if they are not happy with the results. They voice out their concerns and listen to mine.
They may never completely understand what I go through everyday, but they try. They even remind me to be more mindful of my diet during the holidays, and gently tell me not to be too harsh on myself if I slip up during December’s almost endless bonenkai (“forget the year” parties, Japan’s version of countless Christmas parties). They tell me not to quit running. They remind me to drink water and to avoid sweets, rice and noodles.
They do not know all the answers or pretend that they do, but they find out for me. They acknowledge that I would know more about my diabetes than they would ever know, let me decide the direction of my diabetes treatment and support my decisions. They trust my judgment, and I trust theirs.
They assuage my fears. They try their best to help me navigate through the pitfalls and challenges of my condition. They prop me up by reviewing my history to show me how far we’ve come.
They make me feel like they are taking this life-long medical journey with me.