Type 1 Diabetes: When Your Doctor’s Office Makes Mistakes

I have a concern. I switched doctor’s offices this year because my insurance company didn’t cover much at the healthcare provider I was visiting. While the bills got better (thank goodness!), and the people couldn’t be nicer, some things didn’t improve. I found that they were making a lot of mistakes, pretty important ones!

I always bring my medication list with me when I visit so that I have the dosages down to relay to the nurse and doctor when they need it. I am very careful to have this list handy because it can be hard to remember to mention all the variations I take when I tell them about my insulin shots. On two separate visits, I told them about the two daily doses of Levemir (background/long-lasting insulin) that I inject each day, one dose in the morning – another at bedtime. They didn’t relay that to the mail order pharmacy, and when received my insulin I noticed they only had mention of me injecting at bedtime, 1x a day. This caused me to get a reduced amount of insulin vials, meaning I would run out before my next refill. As a person with diabetes, it could be life-threatening to run out of insulin. I called the doctor’s office and they kept insisting that I take it only at bedtime, according to their records.

I have had diabetes for over 21 years. I have been taking Levemir twice a day for quite a few years now. As far as this doctor’s office was concerned, I have always been on two doses under their care. I knew I had explained it right because of my medication list that I bring. How did something as important as a large dose of morning background insulin get missed?

The nurse agreed that she would talk to the doctor about it, and called back and said she’d adjust it so that I could get the appropriate amount of insulin from the mail order pharmacy. The worry was already done. I will likely need to pay more out-of-pocket at the pharmacy for this mistake. When the next mistake happened, I became even more worried.

I looked at my paperwork to make my first Endocrinologist and Ophthalmologist appointment with their facility and found that they listed me as having Type 2 diabetes. I have had Type 1 diabetes for over 21 years. I know that the care can sometimes vary between Type 1 and Type 2, for instance,  some medications cannot be used by people with Type 1 though they can help with Type 2. As I type this, a T.V. commercial plays in the background that mentions that a certain drug is not appropriate for people with Type 1 diabetes, only Type 2. I just want accuracy when it comes to my health. I am worried that this can throw off my diabetes management and concerned with how this mistake could have happened.

I called the nurse at the doctor’s office and expressed my concern about making an appointment and having them have incorrect diagnosis information about me in the system. She assured me that the computer she was looking at said that I had Type 1 diabetes. She said she was sorry, that they must have transposed something when they printed out the paperwork.

I felt a little better knowing the correct diagnosis was in there, but not good that they were making so many mistakes with my health. I would worry enough if someone misdiagnosed my car with a problem that wasn’t accurate, my body is so much more important! I wonder how much more I can allow before feeling the need to make yet another healthcare provider change. How much can we take?

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