This blog is all about how we “live” with diabetes and how we “cope” with the medical community and how we can affect how we “feel” by what we eat. 

What did my doctor just say? “Medicalese” translations is a fun discussion about medical jargon, by Kathleen Hoffman of on 30 March 2019. 

Medical jargon seems to be a necessary evil that patients and caregivers deal with on a regular basis. If you think about it, you know that college students, before they go to medical school, are really just like everyone else. They don’t know the jargon and specialized language. But medical school is like going to live in France or Spain for four years – full immersion. Then they spend significant amounts of time around other physicians, speaking their language. In a way, they lose their first language.

When physicians use words like cachectic, their audience is at a loss. But we can take along crib sheets, or our handy smartphone set on a website with definitions of words commonly used by physicians. One website created by the Medical Library Association called “What did my doctor say?” is useful.

Example 1: “When a patient says, “I feel poor” it is not an economic statement. Generally, feeling poor refers to being run down and losing weight. A person who is cachectic is ‘poor.’”

Example 2: “Our patients don’t always urinate. They “make water.” Or they “urine”’ (can it become a verb?) “Urine stones” are kidney stones. We may call foamy urine a sign of albuminuria but to some patients, it is” beer urine.”

What Did My Doctor Say? as a Medical Library Association page to help us understand “medspeak,” the health words health care professionals use. The terms on this site were created with the help of the Working Group for Health Literacy, Massachusetts Health Sciences Library Network (MAHSLIN). You may want to bookmark this page for future reference!

For your reference: What Did My Doctor Say?

8 Vital Traits of the Ideal Physician was written by Matthew O’Donnell for, 15 March 2019.  I saw the title of this article and thought O’Donnell was tackling quite a difficult topic.  Let’s see.

Going to the doctor’s office can be a nerve-racking experiences for many people. As such, patients have the option of seeking care from another clinician if they feel their current physician isn’t meeting their needs. While each doctor may be unique, there are common traits that most patients look for in their physician.

  1. Communication: The way in which a physician communicates information to a patient is just as important as the information being communicated. Patients who understand their doctors are more likely to admit their health problems, understand their treatment options, adjust their unhealthy patterns and obediently follow their medication schedules.
  2. Empathetic: Research suggests that when doctors respond empathetically at appropriate times, their patients tend to be happier and more motivated to stay on treatment.
  3. Passionate: A patient wants to see a doctor’s sincere desire to practice medicine and a genuine passion in helping others.
  4. Forthright: When a patient feels that their doctor is straightforward with all the facts, it allows them to make educated decisions about their health care that could impact their life and well-being.
  5. Professional: A patient will have greater trust and confidence in a doctor’s abilities when their visits are conducted with good manners and respect.
  6. Respectful: Patients want a physician who treats them like an individual and not just another medical problem or lab experiment in their office.
  7. Knowledgeable: What a patient values above credentials is knowledge. 
  8. Thorough: Thoroughness and attention to detail will instill confidence in a patient that the physician’s diagnosis is accurate.

What do you think?  How does your own medical team measure up on these traits?  Has managed care and electronic medical records changed your interface and interaction with your physicians?  Is there any other trait you’d add to this list?  And a bigger question:  Would you consider bringing this list to your healthcare professionals to remind them?

Read more: 8 Vital Traits of the Ideal Physician

Paying the price for living with diabetes is an interesting opinion piece by Jessica Raposo for The Hamilton Spectator (Ontario, Canada), 7 April 2019.  Raposo asks, If the government can support treatment for drug addicts, why not for people who have Type 1 Diabetes?”

In the span of almost two decades since I was diagnosed, diabetes management has undergone extraordinary transformations. But … did you know that (the cost of my living with T1 per month is) roughly $1,235.

Over the last few years I have been left wondering one thing: why should I have to pay to live? This leads me to my next focus, the distribution of methadone to those addicted to heroin and opioid drugs. The Ontario Health Insurance Program (OHIP) covers the $6 cost per dose. When you factor in approximately four doses a week, multiplied by 52 weeks in a year, that results in 208 doses —$1,248. (New Brunswick Addiction Services, 2009).

If the government can cover this cost to support addicts, why can’t it step up and provide diabetics with the provisions we need to survive? Why is my life not as important as the man who is addicted to heroin or the woman addicted to opioids? Just as an addict does not choose their fate, neither does a Type 1 Diabetic.

Read more: Paying the price for living with diabetes

Everything I Wish Someone Told Me When I Was Diagnosed With Diabetes was written by Kimberly Melvin for Medium, 15 March 2019.  Here are some interesting “wishes” about how to live better with diabetes. It’s a short list … feel free to add “wishes” from your own experiences.

  • I wish someone had told me that it was okay to be upset, because my life would never be the same.
  • I wish someone told me that the numbers don’t really matter, and that I should never apologize for being sick.
  • I wish someone told me about free samples, supply representatives, dia-buddies, supply rationing, and coupons.

Read more: Everything I Wish Someone Told Me When I Was Diagnosed With Diabetes

Most Americans are overfed in calories yet starved of the vital array of micronutrients that our brains need, many of which are found in common plant foods. A survey published in 2017 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that only one in 10 adults meets the minimal daily federal recommendations for fruit and vegetables — at least one-and-a-half to two cups per day of fruit and two to three cups per day of vegetables.

 Nutritional psychiatrists like Dr. Ramsey prescribe antidepressants and other medications, where appropriate, and engage in talk therapy and other traditional forms of counseling. But they argue that fresh and nutritious food can be a potent addition to the mix of available therapies.

Research on the impact of diet on mental functioning is relatively new, and food studies can be difficult to perform and hard to interpret, since so many factors go into what we eat and our general well-being. But a study of more than 12,000 Australians published in the American Journal of Public Health in 2016 found that individuals who increased the number of servings of fruits and vegetables that they ate reported that they were happier and more satisfied with their life than those whose diets remained the same.

Another study of 422 young adults from New Zealand and the United States showed higher levels of mental health and well-being for those who ate more fresh fruits and vegetables. Interestingly, the same benefits did not accrue to those who ate canned fruits and vegetables.

A Mediterranean diet, rich in whole grains, legumes and seafood as well as nutrient-dense leafy vegetables that are high in the fiber, promotes a diverse population of helpful bacteria in the gut. Research suggests that a healthy gut microbiome may be important in the processing of neurotransmitters like serotonin that regulate mood.

Read more: Can What We Eat Affect How We Feel?

Share This
Skip to content