An Angry Diabetic

Lester Croppe never did come back for his follow-up two months ago. He did show up this week, however, with a big frown on his perpetually tanned, furrowed face.

I immediately got the sense that Lester was upset or unhappy, although I wasn’t sure why.

“It’s been a while”, I said tentatively. “Last time we talked I gave you an insulin pen to start getting those blood sugars down….”

“Before you go any further, I need to tell you something”, he interrupted.

“Yes?” I said.

“I didn’t like what you said last time about me having to go on the needle.”

“I can understand that”, I offered.

“So I got mad and decided to do something about it.”

I glanced at his vital signs. His weight was down almost twenty pounds and his blood pressure was better than I’d seen it before. I asked:

“What did you do?”

“I gave up drinking beer, cut back on snacking and made my servings smaller than before”, he thundered.

“Looks like it paid off!” I said. “What kind of blood sugars are you getting now?”

“Nothing over 220, and my fasting readings are perfect.” His stern face broke into a contented smile. “I wanted to prove that I didn’t need insulin”, he said, triumphantly.

“And prove it you did! Congratulations….”

“Thank you”, he said, offering his enormous, calloused right hand in a firm handshake. “At first, I got mad at you, but then I knew it was really my diabetes I was mad at.”

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Osler said “Listen to your patient, he is telling you the diagnosis”. Duvefelt says “Listen to your patient, he is telling you what kind of doctor he needs you to be”.



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