Diabetes notes, number 4

After expecting a follow-up call from the GP surgery’s diabetes nurse on Friday I spent the weekend not knowing what is next. I decided to wait until Monday and ring the GP surgery and just explain I’d been expecting a call on Friday, what do I do next?

Monday morning. Having done a lot of research around GP surgeries in my NHS Beta days I felt a little loathe to make this call, but I waited until later in the morning, 11am-ish. Avoid the rush of 8:30 callers looking for same-day appointments, avoid the people who avoid that rush, and call at a time when the receptionist is more likely to have a little breathing space.

Late yesterday I decided I was going to work from home just so I can make this I make the call, and do whatever was needed. Ahead of the call I’ve run through what I’ll say so I am super-clear and concise. The receptionist at the surgery says Not a problem, I’ll ping the nurse a message. She’ll get back to you, maybe not today, but tomorrow at the latest. OK OK. There is nothing more I can do. I’ve nudged. I get on with my day.

Around 3:15pm my phone rings. It’s the surgery. I am walking back to the shed as it rings. I thought I’d be sat down working when it rang. I answer the phone as I close the door to the shed.

The nurse says hi and explains that the test results are mostly good, generally OK. I am good health (which everyone on this journey seems to say.) The nurse asks if the doctor has already got me onto some drugs for diabetes. I say no, I saw him a couple of weeks ago and he said to get these tests and work out the drugs from there.

Ah, well, there’s no rush. You’re showing 51 which is high blood sugar, definitely diabetic range, but isn’t terrible. Last summer you were at 44, good progress. There’s no rush. I suggest you keep doing all the good stuff you’re doing already and we check your blood again in three months.

I am told I’ll be referred for a retinal test and to have my feet checked. I asked the nurse to repeat those so I could write them down, half so I checked it was retinal not rectum.

They’ll call me in three months to sort a blood test. And that’s it.

I put a note in my diary for three months’ time. Three months on diabetes blood test just in case I don’t get that call. At some point I am going to get something for the retinal (not rectum) test and feet check.

Life, as it has done for the last year or so, goes on as it has done. Which is right. I immediately note it’s less than four weeks until the Manchester marathon — and I haven’t run for a few days, running being one of the things that has put me in good health. Time for a run.

Originally published at https://www.ermlikeyeah.com on March 10, 2020.

Written by

Independent strategist, designer and team builder. Previously: Agency land big cheese; Senior designer at HMRC, DWP, and NHS Jobs; Design lead on #NHSbeta.

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