I love the DOC. I spend 20-30 minutes once every three months with my amazing HCP, but the DOC is a community that supports me daily. I question, I listen, and I learn. I have learned more in the past 6 months participating in the DOC than I have in the three and half years pre-DOC. Here are the top three things that I have learned and think my HCP could learn as well..
1. Living with this disease each day is not as black and white as you make it out to be.
The DOC helps me with the day-to-day work that living with this disease takes. You can treat me medically by changing my dosage during my visits, but my visits should be more than a three month data check-in. Listen to my concerns and help me figure out a path. I have been working on re-integrating exercise into my life for two years now. I still don't have a clear plan for dealing with lows and timing. I've even read Colberg's Diabetic Athlete Handbook. It's frustrating to negotiate these challenges on my own. When I tell you that every time I play ultimate, my blood sugar rises, it does. You have to help me figure that out, not dismiss it like it doesn't happen. That is what the DOC does, it validates my every day experiences.
2. Everyone has a story and it is as important as their numbers.
Don't judge me by my A1C. A number doesn't define who I am as a diabetic. What I love and learn from the DOC are the stories. People in the DOC have varying levels of experience and expertise. We share a common goal, to live a rich healthy long life despite the obstacles of managing our disease. Our stories shared in 140 micro-bites on Twitter or longer in blog posts reveal the uniqueness of our journey and provide guide points toward the steps we choose to take each day. I hope you learn to take time to hear my story too. The data points that I share with you are superfluous without my story.
3. I am a work-in-progress managing my disease.
We all are works-in-progress to quote my mentor, Dr. Janet Allen. You, as an HCP, are a work-in-progress helping me managing my disease. What you knew yesterday may not help me today. The DOC opens up a world larger than textbooks. I can sit side-by-side with people when they are at professional conferences and we can link into research that would be inaccessible 10 years ago. The DOC provides efficient timely access to information that matters most to me. Some of it might matter to you too.