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Disasters Averted

Disasters Averted are stories submitted by our readers and medical editors from direct experience in the field. Do you have a story? If your story is used, we will send you a $25 Amazon Gift Card! Submissions can be anonymous.

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It IS What You Say

Working with a patient, a woman, 44 years of age, who has had type 1 diabetes 21 years. She had a day of high glucose levels. We worked together very hard all day correcting to bring it down. After being closer to her target range, not low by any means, she told me she just had some chocolate. I asked her why, after the day she had, did she choose chocolate.

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Make the Goal Personal to Motivate

Male, 66 years of age, type 2 diabetes, class III obesity, peripheral neuropathy, multiple toe amputations, hypertension, hyperlipidemia and, most importantly, a 2-year-old granddaughter. Patient taking 100 units long-acting insulin, sulfonylurea, metformin, beta blocker, and statin. Checks glucose once in a while; in the 200 to 270 range when checks. A1C 9.3%.

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One Bite at a Time

Woman, 42 years of age, class III obesity, type 2 diabetes diagnosed in the past year, binge eating disorder. Very motivated to change lifestyle when first diagnosed. She goes off and on her medication. When off, she binges. As an hcp, I wondered about the severe changes from totally "on" to totally "off." Yes, this patient is receiving counseling, CBT.

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Inpatient Teaching Should Include Outpatient (Real Life) Education and Supplies

One day a 31-year-old woman who had recently been hospitalized and subsequently diagnosed with type 1 diabetes came into our diabetes clinic for education. She had been discharged from the hospital less than a week prior to coming to our clinic. She was frustrated when she arrived, as her blood sugars had become increasingly elevated after leaving the hospital. She had called her primary care physician and he instructed her to increase her dose of long-acting insulin. Still, her blood sugars had not improved.

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What Do You Attribute The Change To?

56-year-old man, type 2 diabetes, had been prescribed SGLT-2 to lower his glucose levels. He had been taking an SGLT-2 for the past two years. His A1C, blood pressure and weight were elevated since the last visit 3 months ago. When asked if he was doing anything different, he said he had read articles and seen on TV about these types of medications causing heart disease, so he stopped taking his.

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Don’t Blame All Symptoms on Glucose Levels

A woman, 72 years of age, type 2 diabetes, obesity, taking metformin, GLP1, ARB, and antidepressant (SSRI). Lost 20% total body weight in the past year. Recently complaining of dizziness and weakness. Glucose levels in the 60’s at home, at which time had symptoms of hypoglycemia. Glucose-lowering medications (metformin and GLP-1) were stopped. Continued to complain of dizziness and weakness especially in the morning.

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The New To-Do For Travel

A patient with diabetes gets her meds, prescribed by a nurse practitioner, from a national chain pharmacy in New York. She was planning travel to Hawaii. Patient did not refill her meds at home in New York before leaving for her travel in Hawaii because it was too early. Insurance would not pay until closer to the refill date. She thought she could wait until the time insurance would cover, go to a location where she was traveling and pick it up there. She’d done that during her travels in the past. It did not work in Hawaii.

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Don’t Look, Don’t Know

Woman, 55 years of age, type 2 diabetes for 15 years. When first diagnosed, did all she could to learn everything about managing her diabetes. She even went to two complete diabetes education courses. The second she paid for on her own. In time, she started checking less, ate more and more unfriendly diabetes foods, and due to a chronic ankle problem, became more and more inactive. After losing her insurance, she then stopped taking her medications and checking her glucose, until she noticed bloody drainage on her clothes from rashes several places on her body.

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