Thursday, 16 June 2011

D-Doc Syndrome and a whole packet of GlucoTabs.

Today I had went to the hospital for my routine, diabetes check up.  It was my first appointment since leaving Paediatrics so I guess I was a little apprehensive about how different things would now be but, as it turned out, there was nothing to feel worried about!  Still, that didn't stop my blood sugar levels from throwing a bit of a tantrum at the prospect of a hospital appointment.

I woke up this morning at a 8.1 mmol - beautiful!  I ate my bowl of porridge (oatmeal) and gave myself 3.5 units of NovoRapid as normal.  Usually this would result in nice, balanced bg levels for the rest of the morning...but not today.

The journey to the hospital had been relatively stress-free - a little trouble parking but nothing horrendous and I had given myself plenty of time so I wasn't stressing or getting myself in a tizzy.  I found my way to the new clinic without getting lost (yessss!) and was sat in the waiting room promptly for my appointment at 11am.

Whilst waiting, I realised that my vision was slightly blurred.  At first, I completely disregarded the idea that I could have been low - I hardly ever go hypo in the morning and I didn't go to bed until late last night, so I thought that must have been why.  Nevertheless, I decided to test my blood sugar levels.  Luckily, I went with my better judgement...

2.2!?  I hadn't been that low in such a long time.  As fast as you could say 'diabetes', I'd dived inside my bag, opened a new packet of glucose tabs and started shovelling them into my mouth - not a pretty site, I suspect.  Usually 3 glucose tabs are enough to bring me up from a hypo, but 4 later and I was still shaking like Outkast's Polaroid picture.

I had my HbA1C taken, was weighed, measured and spoke to the dietician and was beginning to feel better.  All of this took 1 hour and 20 minutes.  When I went back into the waiting room before seeing the doctor, I tested again.  This time...3.7! Still hypo!  I couldn't believe it. I ate the rest of the packet of glucose tabs.  I have never eaten a whole packet in one day in the 14 years that I've had diabetes!

Have you ever heard of 'White Coat Syndrome?'  Basically, according to good old Wiki, it's:
"A phenomenon in which patients exhibit elevated blood pressure in a clinical setting but not in other settings. It is believed that this is due to the anxiety some people experience during a clinic visit." 

Well, I've diagnosed myself with something similar.  I call it 'Diabetes Doctor Syndrome' or 'D-Doc Syndrome' for short.  I believe that this is when a diabetic's blood sugar levels will either drop or rise into a hypo or hyperglycaemic attack, caused by anxiety they experience when attending a diabetes check-up with their diabetes doctor.  Of course, I've got no scientific proof of this, but I reckon it might have some truth value!  I always go low for no apparent reason before an appointment, but that might just be me.

Anyway, everything went well on the whole.  The doctors didn't seem to have any concerns and I was praised by the dietician for my perseverance with accurate carb counting - it's very much been a 'work in progress', but I'm getting there!  I also got 2 new NovoPens, which were   definitely needed as I reckon I've probably been using my old one for the last ten years or so.

Move aside old, tacky NovoPen with flaking paintwork and no lid. new NovoPen!  Silver, slightly more classy, a nice case for it to go in and what's this?  A lid!?  Oh my word!  How beautiful.  Haha :)

Most importantly, my blood sugar levels managed to stabilise after a while and by the time I got home (2 and a bit hours after the horrific 2.2) I was 7.6...phew! And about time too! :D

(By the way, I apologise that I haven't yet been able to write a post about 'Dr. Bernstein's Diabetes Solution' as I said I would.  As I'm currently taking my final A Level exams, the only books I've had my head stuck in over the past few weeks have been my revision guides!  However, my last exams are next week so I will finally be able to start reading it, so keep checking!  Wishing you health and happiness wherever you are)


  1. Glad to hear that things ended up OK! I love new Novo Pen! Very stylish :)

  2. I'm so happy you had the glucose tabs with you!!! I'm an idiot sometimes and forget to bring them along for the ride. Your Outkast Polaroid Picture song reference made me laugh! :) Glad you are okay Daisy!!!