You just never know

If you have read many of my posts in the past, you likely know what the DCCT/EDIC is. These letters stand for the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial/Epidemiology of Diabetes Interventions and Complications, a NIH-sponsored study that began in 1982- if you don’t know all about the study, check it out (start with my blog index). Anyway, this morning I saw one of the study subjects, a young man of 48 years, with onset of type 1 diabetes when he was age 9 years. When he was a child, and lived at home under the watchful eyes of his parents, he did very well with his diabetes. As an adult, he had not been doing so well. I had seen him last in 2019, and at that time his HbA1c was about 10%, his LDL-cholesterol was 135 mg/dl, his BMI was 40, and his blood pressure was 144/88. He promised to do better, like all patients do, whether in a study such as this or just a “regular” patient.

Shock and Awe

Today, I was expecting to find that he hadn’t made any meaningful changes in his horrible diabetes care. Oh boy, was I in for a surprise. He had lost 30 lbs, he was now on a statin, his blood pressure was normal, and his most recent HbA1c was 6.8%. For whatever reason, the “message” at his last study visit hit home. Over the years, I have learned that most patients listen to what the health care givers say, but they often don’t act on the advice, until they are ready. Obviously, this young man was ready.

The Moral of this Story

So, we health professionals must never ever give up on our patients, even if they seem to be ignoring our recommendations. They usually hear what we are saying, and when they are ready they not infrequently act on the advice. Sometimes it takes many years, but we must understand this general principal of patient care. Today, I got a “booster shot” of what I have been preaching for years. No one is too old to learn, even Dr. Goldstein!

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