After months of feeling “pins and needles” in the hands and feet…
I wanted to share with you the not-so-uncommon story of a man who came to the pharmacy last week while I was working. Let’s call him John.
John is in his late 50s and had just received a prescription for insulin, written by the ER doctor.
Before going to speak with him, I checked his file. I was expecting to see at least a couple of meds that he was already taking (you know… metformin, blood pressure meds, cholesterol meds…), but instead I saw nothing but the new insulin prescriptions. Odd.
I went over to John and introduced myself: “Hi, I’m Sara, I’m the pharmacist today and I wanted to take a few minutes to explain your new prescriptions”.
John was looking at me with a mix of worry and irritation. He told me that he finally went to the ER after months of feeling pins and needles in his hands and feet. His tests revealed that he had type 2 diabetes. Then he was told that since his blood sugar levels were too high, he had to take insulin injections.
At this point in his story, John sighed and pulled out a glucose meter from his pocket: ”they gave me this machine and told me to test my blood sugar every day. But I have no idea how long I’m gonna have to do this… Oh and I still have that tingling and burning feeling in my hands and feet. They never gave me anything for that!”
Where do I begin? So many thoughts and questions were rushing through my mind:
"Did they explain how to use your glucose meter? And how to adjust your doses of insulin?
Do you know what healthy blood sugar levels are?
Did they not tell you that having high blood sugar levels for a long time can cause neuropathy (that feeling of pins and needles)?
What do your eating habits look like?
Are you an active person?
Do you deal with high levels of stress?”
Of course, I asked him all these questions and answered some of his questions as well. But I knew that he would still be leaving the pharmacy feeling overwhelmed… I had spent at least 15 minutes talking to John. Which in the context of pharmacy work is a long time!
Unfortunately, the more time I spend talking to him, the more other sick people have to wait to get their prescriptions...
I could have easily taken an hour to talk to John and explain what was happening inside his own body… how else would he be able to deal with this complicated disease that is Type 2 diabetes?
I get so frustrated at this part of my job. The lack of time. I wish I had more time to give people all the information they need to be able to heal themselves.
Because it’s never enough to only explain how to use the medication I’m giving them. Meds alone don’t heal us. Sure, meds help us feel better or help lower blood sugar levels. But in the case of Type 2 diabetes, they never heal us.
What heals us from Type 2 diabetes is (1) understanding what causes it, and (2) making the necessary changes in our lives to slowly and gradually reverse it.
This is exactly why myself and the team at Kasana Health have spent hours creating an online course to help the millions of people, like John, affected by #Type2diabetes.
Do yourself a favor and sign-up. It's free!
Much love, Sara