Podiatrist Appointment: Utter Irritation!

I have just returned from my annual diabetic foot exam. Ok, I do not always get this done annually, but it is a good idea for most people. I don’t have many problems with my feet. Other than the occasional broken toe that I get for being clumsy and having size 11 AAA feet or the chipped nail polish that might exist from time to time; I like my feet and they are healthy!

I have seen this podiatrist before. It has been over two years or so because I was no longer in their system. Not a problem. I got an appointment scheduled very quickly and had a very nice receptionist. I liked the front desk staff upon arrival. As a diabetic, I see many doctor offices and am well experienced in the routine.

This particular podiatrist is passionate about diabetes. I like that. However, I find it amusing (in a way) that I could be so irritated by a man that wants many of the same end results that I do for both me and my clients! In fact I am perturbed!

First of all, I felt the need to justify why I was there. It is not my problem that the medical community asks me to get an annual foot exam. When I enter the appointment without a foot problem, I was sort of rebuffed. I was asked if I was a T1 or T2. I was almost congratulated upon the revelation that I was a T1, as I was quickly informed that all T2′s are self induced or probably because of what their parents fed them since birth. I mentioned genetics and was dismissed. I was asked what I did for a living. After that was determined I was told hastily and rather pompously, “I know what you know.”

Really? I have no doubt that this particular podiatrist is a very intelligent man. I bet he has done more research than I have. He has more degrees than I do. He is an author and owns his own practice I believe. He knows much! He visits other hospitals, talks to organizations, and is knowledgeable about government issues in medicine. (In case he is reading this the Surgeon General is Vice Admiral (VADM) Vivek H. Murthy, M.D., M.B.A.— yes I had to go and look it up). However, I am insulted when told that he knows what I know. I doubt it!

Does he know what it is like to be a woman with Type 1 diabetes? Does he know how often I have to fight for my welfare? Does he know how many times a day I fight judgement from uneducated souls as well as educated ones like himself, who are so quick to judge the diabetes community? Does he know what it is like to have a hormonal imbalance? Does he know what it is like to need a necessary medication to stay alive and coincidentally depend on the pharm manufacturers and sales reps and spend most of your paycheck on diabetes supplies, even with insurance? Does he know what it is like to go in relatively healthy to doctors and get “check ups” because that is what we have to do to prevent problems and stay on top of this disease? Never mind applauding me that I am staying on track! In reality these appointments are a big misuse of my time and co-pays!

I have no doubt that this doctor is a well intentioned man. I know that he is somewhat proud of his “in your face” approach and “telling it like it is”. That is not hard to see. However, the next time he looks at a female that has lived with T1 for nearly 30 years, I would advise him to think twice before injecting, “Yeah, I know what you know” into the conversation!!

If you took the time to read this blog post. Make it a point to stick up for yourself when going to a physician. I do not mean be disrespectful. They have worked and studied long and hard to get where they are. They have to deal with insurance and the system too. I like a challenge and I like someone that is passionate about health! However, this was rather unpleasant and even when we agreed on many points about life with diabetes, I felt like we were adversaries and definitely not the “team members” that we need to be.

So while I am looking into doctors, especially podiatrists, I simply say, “NEXT?” . . . Moving right along!

One thought on “Podiatrist Appointment: Utter Irritation!

  1. Hi Marianne: I read your ‘blog’ with great interest and felt your frustration. I, too, am very proactive about my diabetes ‘health’ and make it a point to visit all the providers necessary to assure my ongoing well-being. It’s very true that appointment setters and doctors seem to question a patient who is there as a precaution and to avoid future problems, as opposed to being seen for a specific ailment. We know all too well that as a diabetic we must advocate for ourselves, which means yearly (or more frequent) check-ups with a PCP, endo, ophthalmologist, nephrologist, podiatrist, etc. to avoid complications. We should be met with enthusiasm and support by these providers and office personnel instead of those puzzled looks we often receive (or the why exactly are you here question we often are asked).

    Thanks for sharing your somewhat frustrating experience. I for one appreciate all you do, as well as your support and wealth of knowledge.

    I do have a wonderful and caring female podiatrist who I adore, if you ever consider a change. You can message me or email me for info, if interested.

    Hope to see you soon.
    Carol S-C

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