Wednesday, July 18, 2012

That Patient/Doctor "Click"

Good Morning Beautiful,

I'm writing this on my BlackBerry as I wait in the stuffy waiting room of my Endocrinologists office. For those of you who don't know what an "endo" is, its a doctor that specializes in hormones, and more specifically for me, the hormone insulin.

I've had diabetes now for almost 16 years, and its been quite the journey through multiple doctors. I truly feel like if you AND your doctor don't "click" (almost like a connection with a personal trainer, or a sport coach) then there is no way to get the full potential out of what they're trying to provide. There is definitely more than one reason why a patient and a doctor wouldn't click.

For me, the first doctor I ever had, I had at age 8 when I was first diagnosed until about age 16. He was the sweetest, kindest man. He was the doctor I had when I went to diabetic camp as a child (yes, they have that.) and he helped me through some pretty traumatic seizures when I didn't have anyone else around in the middle of a forest trying to pretend like I was "one with nature". But I was so young, and unfortunately he was basically a veteran when it came to diabetes and he retired in his older age.

My second doctor was still at the children's hospital I attended but he was much, much younger and fresh out of med school. I wouldn't necessarily say I didn't like him, but at the time he didn't seem like a nice person. I remember him talking down to me, and he just wasn't connecting with me on my level... I had him until I turned 18 and I graduated to an adult hospital.

The very first doctor I had as an adult, well, I hated her. I literally don't have anything nice to say about her except that she had nice healthy hair and was probably smart since she was a doctor. She would yell at me for my sugars not being under perfect control. She was rude, condescending and looked like a rat. I dreaded going to see her. I would cancel my appointments, postpone appointments and I just wasn't motivated to try and impress her. I didn't document my blood sugars and didn't try hard at keeping my sugars under control because 1. I hated her and didn't want to give her the satisfaction of being the doctor that successfully helped me, and 2. In my own ignorance, I didn't exactly know what was happening in my body when my blood sugars ran high (now I do! And I have much better blood sugar control!).

I wanted out of that patient/doctor relationship more than anything. If she had been a boyfriend, I would have seen her, left and never called again. If she had been a trainer I would fire her as my trainer in an instant, but guess what? You can't fire your doctor without being labeled a "problem" patient. So it wasn't until I moved to Toronto that I got the chance to say my goodbyes to the one Doctor I've hated most in my life.

She had to refer me to a doctor in Toronto, and she did the one GOOD thing she had ever done in our relationship, she referred me to my favourite doctor of all time, Dr. Bruce Perkins. When I first met him, I was instantly in love with him (as my doctor). Not only is he the first doctor that connected with me on a personal level (he's really into fitness and health like me!) but he's the first doctor I've ever had that actually HAS diabetes too and also wears an insulin pump like myself. He's sooo well dressed (very fashion forward!), he's like 6'5, if I were a 35-40 year old women, I'd drool through my entire appointment.

This is what a website has written about him (what he does/has done):
Bruce Perkins, MD, MPH
Dr. Bruce Perkins is Assistant Professor and Endocrinologist at the University of Toronto’s University Health Network practicing general endocrinology, and a Diabetes Complications Clinician-Investigator.
Dr. Perkins is a Canadian Diabetes Association (CDA) Scholar and receives JDRF, Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), and Banting and Best Diabetes Center funding. His research methods focus on cohort studies and clinical trials in diabetic nephropathy and neuropathy.
Dr. Perkins’ particular interests are in the identification of valid early phenotypes of these complications, and the natural history and determinants of the early phenotypes. He has also described novel phenotypes for early nephropathy and he has introduced “Early GFR Loss” as the alternative to microalbuminuria as a predictive marker, using the serial analysis of serum cystatin C. For early neuropathy, he has developed the operating characteristics of Corneal Confocal Microscopy as a method to analyze early small fiber morphological abnormalities as an alternative to intra-epidermal nerve fiber analysis by skin biopsy.
Dr. Perkins also has a major focus on technologies in diabetes care including the use of insulin pumps and continuous glucose monitoring in clinical trials and clinical practice. He chaired the Ministry of Health’s expert panel for Insulin Pump Coverage for adults in Ontario.
He obtained his MD and Internal Medicine Residency training at the University of Toronto, endocrinology subspecialty training at Harvard University and the Joslin Diabetes Center, and his Masters of Public Health in Epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health
I love him so much because, well, obviously from the text above he's a fairly smart cookie, but he likes to help my by making changes in small steps. I see him every 5 months and every 5 months we focus on 1 new thing. These past 5 months have been focusing on documenting blood sugars and making sure I test my blood before I go to bed. Easy enough right? This allows him to slowly see patterns in my blood sugars and adjust my insulin levels accordingly without making any drastic changes and potentially screwing up everything. I'm actually happy to see him today, I haven't seen him since I ran my half-marathon, I hope he asks me about it :). Oh my goodness, do you think he'd let me take a picture with him today for my blog? I'm so asking.


Me and my wonderful Doc! He helps me stay healthy! 
Today is going to be a very busy day, hence why I'm writing this on my BB in the waiting room. I have this appointment, I have a couple conference calls crammed into my half day (thank god I opted to work late last night and do some work when I actually got home), then I have to go home really quick andhave a shower and meet up with another couple that C and I know to go watch the Toronto Argos game! Do you think I'd be able to bring chicken and raw veggies to munch on? They usually check purses. Maybe I'll pull the whole "I have allergies..." Stint. If I have no food to munch I'll for sure cave and get popcorn (aka artery hardener). I might also have one beer, I'm admitting it now. Its going to be hot out!! Bud Light Lime is always refreshing. :)

Hello Tosca :)
Also, I'm fairly certain I can already feel the benefits of the MicroGreens I've been having every morning. I notice that I'm not super fatigued going home (it wasn't abnormal to go home, nap for an hour and get up to cook dinner.. I haven't all week!) And I'm more alert during the day. I can't wait to see how I'm going to feel after 2 whole weeks!

Guess what guys? You know Tosca Reno, the Eat Clean Queen? She tweeted to me today and let me know she's checking out my food journal giveaway!! If she's checking it out, YOU SHOULD TOO!! :). I soooo cannot wait to meet her in August!

Here's how to enter my giveaway!

MandatoryLike My (Mostly) Healthy Life on Facebook and leave me a comment on here when you have done so!
Extra Entries1. Follow me (@sarahohm) on Twitter.
2. Like My (Mostly) Healthy Life via Google Friend Connect on my site (click “Join This Site”).
3. Tweet about my giveaway, cut & paste the following “I just entered @sarahohm #giveaway for a free food journal on!"
4. Share this giveaway on your Facebook page and tag me in the post!
This adds up to a possible 5 entries into my giveaway! Please leave a comment on this post after completing each entry. This contest closes on Tuesday July 31, at 8:00PM (Toronto time!). I will announce the winner the following day! Contest is open to Canada & US residents! GOOD LUCK!
Stay sweet.

(Dr. Perkins Bio found on


  1. That's so neat that you and your doctor connect. I just got a new doctor (just my primary care) like 2 years ago, have only been to him once. He was really nice and I liked him, but just heard he's leaving very soon. (I like you on FB by the way) :)

  2. Hi i follow you on pin interest and FB trying to stay focused whilst recovering and rehabbing Achilles Tendonosis in both ankles so unable to train. So managing with just diet also i am doing the 50 day sugar free challenge.... love your site so interesting learning heaps keep up the amazing work you do. cheers Deb :)

  3. You guys are so awesome!! Thanks for your kind words Kelly!

    Deb - you're doing so well... keep up the great work!

  4. well... how nice to get away from the "rat" doctor to a doc you really like. hang in there... slu


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  7. I don't have a personal doctor. I guess it is because I am ridiculously healthy and look 10 years younger than I really am.

    What is bad is I probably would look even younger, but I refuse to give up bacon...

    Charles Moffat
    Toronto Personal Trainer

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