Wednesday, April 29, 2009

An email

I got an email from a patient. He got his driver's license back!
This was a 52 year old family man, with a long history of type 1 diabetes. Somehow, work and family got in the way of his health and he stopped monitoring his glucose levels. With a busy work and family life, neglecting our health probably happens to most of us; unfortunately with type 1 diabetes there isn't any other alternatives I tell my patients: Until we have better technology they will need to self monitor their glucose with their glucometer.
And so last year, got into a motor vehicle accident during a hypoglycemic episode. His driver's license was taken away from him. For most of us, for him, the breadwinner in the family, this would be a devastating event. When I saw him, he was a wreck, and felt that he had failed as a husband and father. He had to get his wife to drive him to work. He could not drive his daughter to school. Of course, he could have driven illegally without his driver's license, but Mr. K, bless his heart, was too responsible for that.
He broke down the first time I saw him, and my heart went out to him.
In the last 8 months, we were able to get things turned around. We put him on an insulin pump, reeducated him on insulin management and glucose monitoring. His hemoglobin a1c dropped from 12.1% to 7.1%. More importantly, his hypoglycemic episodes decreased significantly; he has not experienced another severe episode since his accident.
When I saw him a month ago, I felt that he was ready to try to reapply for his license again. I filled out the necessary paperwork. And a month later, he's succeeded.
I wish him all the best and I'm confident he'll continue to do well. Is there the chance this may happen again? There's always the chance. Always the risk. But will he let this happen again? I strongly doubt it.
Well done, Mr. K!