The Lyme & the coconut


Had dinner with my friend Kellie last night who, when I went to check my blood sugar, was reminded of her recent frustrations with the health care system.

Kellie hadn't been feeling too well. Achy joints, low energy and other vague symptoms that can point to any of a number of diagnoses. Kellie is pretty sure it's Lyme disease, but was referred to an endocrinologist who kept insisting her symptoms might be related to blood sugars.

"It's not my blood sugar," she kept arguing. (Kellie eats well, exercises regularly, weighs about 100 pounds and is in no way at risk for Type 2 diabetes. She certainly didn't have the severe symptoms of Type 1). Kellie does, however, spent lots of time in the great outdoors, where she certainly could have run into Lyme disease.

She might as well have been banging her head with a coconut. She wound up in an educational session with a diabetes nurse, and received a meter/lancets/strips so she could track her glucose numbers over a set period of time. All of which were in the 90s.

In other words, it wasn't her blood sugar. She received a battery of other tests and is currently on a course of antibiotics for, yes, Lyme disease. She's also taking a Vitamin D supplement.

She feels like her old self again, and now has a brand new glucometer and its related accouterments that she has no use for (I have a feeling I'll inherit). She spent time and money (hers and the insurer's) that didn't need to be spent, in yet another example of how our health care system doesn't always use its dollars wisely.

The morale of this story: Sometimes the doctor doesn't know best.

Theresa Flaherty
Type 1


Sorry to say that it's not a rare case - many years ago one of my friends was diagnosed by an eye doctor (who didn't know what was going on with her) as having "weird eyes" only to find out years later that she has a genetic eye disease which is slowly rendering her blind. Maybe he could have recommended somebody else who might have a clue?
I'm guessing it's probably a combination of ego and apathy... cause if he'd have given even an ounce of poo, he probably would have suggested she see someone else that would be able to diagnose her correctly...
Aaah...the traditional medical establishment...we put them on pedestals for extremely nebulous reasons.