LifeAfterDx--Diabetes Uncensored

A internet journal from one of the first T1 Diabetics to use continuous glucose monitoring. Copyright 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016

My Photo
Location: New Mexico, United States

Hi! I’m William “Lee” Dubois (called either Wil or Lee, depending what part of the internet you’re on). I’m a diabetes columnist and the author of four books about diabetes that have collectively won 16 national and international book awards. (Hey, if you can’t brag about yourself on your own blog, where can you??) I have the great good fortune to pen the edgy Dear Abby-style advice column every Saturday at Diabetes Mine; write the Diabetes Simplified column for dLife; and am one of the ShareCare diabetes experts. My work also appears in Diabetic Living and Diabetes Self-Management magazines. In addition to writing, I’ve spent the last half-dozen years running the diabetes education program for a rural non-profit clinic in the mountains of New Mexico. Don’t worry, I’ll get some rest after the cure. LifeAfterDx is my personal home base, where I get to say what and how I feel about diabetes and… you know… life, free from the red pens of editors (all of whom I adore, of course!).

Friday, March 27, 2009

Pillow talk--medicine style

So the love of my life has a new job. Debbie, mother of Rio and wife to me for more than 20 years, was a disc jockey when I started dating her in the late 80’s. At the time, I was a newspaper photographer, sleeping with a police scanner and running off in the middle of the night to cover fires, wrecks, and assorted human misery. I loved it. God, I was one sick puppy back then. Men, like wine and whiskey, improve with age.

On one of our very early dates I had stopped to buy flowers when the flight-for-life helicopter flew overhead. The girl forgotten, I chased it.

She married me anyway. And I won an award for the picture.

But all of that was long ago. And pre-Rio. Deb hasn’t worked since Rio was born. But it was time; for both our pocket book and for her soul. But guess what? There really aren’t DJs any more. Not many. Most small-town radio stations just pipe in music and DJs from big city operations and add in local ads. A single person can run a small town radio station by sleeping in late and spending most of the day in a bar. It is that automated nowadays.

Deb needed a new career. Her first choice, actually, was rich heiress, but there just weren’t any openings. She applied for several other different jobs without much luck. She’s been out of the job pool for long time, it was scary and nerve wracking for her. And there are a lot of people looking for work now. A lot.

As fate would have it, she seems to have lucked into the perfect thing for her skills, her personality, and her intelligence.

It started with a good deed. I wasted a day recently at the state capitol, manning a booth in the rotunda on the official health awareness day. In past years we screened for diabetes, but politics got in the way so this year I was stuck just talking. It was OK, but not what I call “a good day of medicine.” I define that as a day when I really make someone’s life BETTER. Not to be arrogant, but for me, most of my working days are good days of medicine. There is just sooooooo much need out there and my clinic is in the thick of it. If I can’t make at least one person’s life better on any given day, I probably just wasn’t trying hard enough.

So I was feeling sorry for myself, and thinking if I had spent the day at the clinic I would have had a good day of medicine.

Afterwards, to cheer myself up, I met my buddy Fox for an early dinner and we played with each other’s pumps. She’s wearing Med-T and I’m currently wearing my out-of-warranty Cozmo thanks to supplies donated by readers (love you all!). I was showing her how simple the Cozmo menus are and she was refreshing me on how the Para-pump works (Are you sure you want to bolus? Are you really sure? Are you really sure you are really sure?)

After our taco salads I dropped by another T-1 I know, who is a Nurse Practitioner. Naturally she specializes in treating diabetics. Her practice is growing. Fast.

In fact she was opening an new office in the next town over, near where Deb and I live. “I need a couple of Medical Assistants,” she told me, “I’m looking for really mature, reliable folks. You know anyone over there?”


So now my brown-eyed beauty is wearing scrubs. And a stethoscope. It’s a pretty hot look, I gotta say. Now different practices use MA’s in different ways. There is very little limit as to what skills can be delegated to an MA by law in our state. So MA’s can do some pretty heavy-duty nurse stuff if the practitioner is comfortable delegating to the MA. So in some (smart) practices MA’s do blood draws, run UAs, do triage, assist in procedures, call in prescriptions and all kinds of cool stuff. In other (dumb) practices they answer phones, and maybe take a temperature now and then. A good MA takes the load off the practitioner. More good medicine gets done.

Deb works for a smart practice. Deb gets to do the fun stuff. And she took to it like a fish to water. On one day she assisted the Nurse Practitioner with a pap smear. The next day the MD had one on his schedule. She laid out everything he needed in advance. Without being asked. Being told to get a urine sample on another patient, she automatically went the extra mile and did the dip and recorded the results.

At the end of her first week, we were sprawled on opposite ends of our living room couch, legs entwined, me with a glass of wine, she with a diet 7-up. “Oh-oh-oh,” she said excitedly, waving her hands in the air, her dark brown eyes flashing with delight, “I forgot to tell you, I saw a prolapsed bladder today!”

Wow! That’s sooooo awesome! Ummm….what the hell is a prolapsed bladder?

But it is great because we have separate worlds with a common vocabulary. We each know the cast of characters in each other’s work worlds. We have our own unique and personal spaces where we belong in a common universe.

Yes, it makes for some strange pillow talk of glucose, A1Cs, neuropathy, hypertensions, and prolapsed bladders. But it is a good little world. And I am happy to see her come alive. She glows. Radiant and more sexy than ever.

Hey, baby….put on your stethoscope and come over here….


Blogger Scott K. Johnson said...

That is GREAT Wil!

9:04 AM  
Blogger Colleen said...

What great news - and I loved reading about it.

3:50 PM  
Anonymous Kelly said...

I am doing the Happy Dance for you ( both). Good to hear.

7:42 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home