Nadia Al-Samarrie

AskNadia: Physician Was Angry When I Pointed Out He Had Someone Else’s Medical Chart

Dear Nadia,

Several years ago I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes because I am insulin resistant. Over the next two years, I saw a total of 8 different doctors. My first doctor pulled up the wrong chart for someone else when I pointed that out to him, he became furious and commented he did not make mistakes. I was on three different insulin, and five other medications. I developed a rash over 90% of my body. When I talked to the doctor that I felt one drug was causing this; his comment was “suck it up and live with it.” When I tried to report my experience to the FDA, they informed that I could only submit my report if I were dead. I began using various herbs with exercise. The last doctor I saw refused to look at any of the data from that even though I had reduced my blood sugars to a normal range.

Will P.

Dear Will,
I commend you for being your best diabetes advocate. The medical system can be discouraging for many. Especially, when are making a valiant effort to get your blood sugar readings in a healthy range.

Years ago, I took my Type 2 mother to her HMO Endocrinologist and was angry at how dismissive and arrogant her physician was. My mom’s vision was on a decline from her high blood sugars; deteriorating to being blind at night. Driving home after 5 pm became a concern. I asked her physician to write my mother a letter for her Human Resource department so they can accommodate her health changes. Her Physician refused to write her a letter. Baffled and enraged, I pointed out to her doctor in my most professional tone, that my mother had to drive to work and her evening drive will put her and other drivers on the road at risk. Her Physician refused to write a note and said: “maybe she should not work.”

It was difficult for my mother to stay optimistic about working with physicians’ with this experience. Shortly afterward, my mom mentioned that the side effects from her blood pressure medication made her ill. When I encouraged her to speak to her cardiologist about changing medications, her experience with her endocrinologist affected her ability to believe that a different physician would treat her with care and respect. Consequently, she never made that call and had a stroke because she stopped taking her medication.

After her stroke, the quality of her life continued to decline until she was incapable of taking care of herself. Type 2 Diabetes, thyroid, depression, cardiovascular diseases, and neuropathy became insurmountable for independent living. I asked my mother to move in with me when my children were three and five while I was running my businesses. Society referred to my situation as the “sandwich generation,” an adult daughter taking care of a parent and preschool children. My mother’s declining condition gave me power of attorney over her health and financial matters. Once this happened, I started to see the healthcare world through her eyes and it made me sad. It also made me realize how important it was to have an advocate when dealing with the healthcare system. Fortunately, not all physicians are alike, and toward the end of her life, she did get the best possible care. It did take an advocate.

I salute you for your determination to find the best possible therapy for yourself and being a great role model by not giving up on yourself.

We all gain strength from coming together and hearing about our experiences. Thank you for sharing your story.

 

Disclaimer:
Nadia’s feedback on your question is in no way intended to initiate or replace your healthcare professional’s therapy or advice. Please check in with your medical team to discuss your diabetes management concerns.
Share Your Story or AskNadia and get her unique perspective on your question.

 

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About Nadia:
Nadia was not only born into a family with diabetes but also married into one. At a young age, she was a put in a caretaker role, and with her knowledge of the scarcity of resources, support, and understanding for people with diabetes, co-founded Diabetes Interview, now Diabetes Health magazine.

Nadia has received 14 nominations for her work as a diabetes advocate.  ABC, NBC, CBS, and other major cable networks have featured her publications, medical supply business, and website.  She has been cited, recognized and published in the San Francisco Chronicle, The Wall Street Journal, Ann Landers advice column, former Chrysler chairman Lee Iacocca, Entrepreneur magazine, Houston News, Phili.com, Brand Week, Drug Topics, and many other media outlets.

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