Diabetes Blogs

My First Adult Endocrinologist Appointment, AKA Quarter-life Crisis


     Ah, growing up.  Is there anything that better defines the word "bittersweet"?  Probably not.  As quickly as we gain our long-desired independence, we lose the desire to have all the responsibilities and harsh realities that come along with it.  To borrow words from The Beatles, "Living is easy with eyes closed."  Being almost 22 and almost finished with college, I've been pretty panicked about this predicament.

     A case in point was over my winter break when I had my very first adult endocrinologist appointment.  Now this may not seem like a big deal to someone without diabetes; switching from a pediatrician to an adult doctor.  But this is a whole other ball game.  An adult endocrinologist is more like a regular doctor, whereas seeing a pediatric endocrinologist involved (for me) a cozy office in a colorful hospital wing, surrounded by babies and children who also have diabetes, and nurses and doctors that have watched me grow older.  You can imagine my unease from leaving this and switching to a more serious, more grown up doctor.  At my new doctor's office, there were several things I noticed immediately upon entering:

  1. It was one office.  One teeny room, with maybe two doors that led to observation rooms where the doctor saw you.  This was quite a shock compared to the labyrinth of a hospital with its own endocrinology wing and row of observation rooms.
  2. No babies.  Just adults, and mostly ones that were much older than me.  This certainly made me feel a little out of my element.
  3. The TV. The evil TV, that droned on and on about diabetes and heart disease, diabetes and depression, diabetes and neuropathy, diabetes and you're-going-to-die-now-that-you're-a-grown-up.  I mean, I know we have to be extra cautious as we get older, but come on, Not making for the best ambience here.
  4. The observation room. More like a consultation room, really.  There was no gown for me to put on, no colorful paintings on the wall or childrens' books on the windowsill.  I sat across from the doctor at her desk as we talked, and only at the end did I sit on the paper-covered bed and have a mini-exam.

     None of this is to say that I did not like my new doctor, of course.  She is a very kind woman and we got along well, and I look forward to our diabetes journey together.  But all of these stark differences made for plenty of worked-up nerves about my new situation.  Things happen in life in which people realize that they're growing older: graduation, birthdays, and so on.  But when they happen amidst the switching of endocrinologists after so many years, they make for a quarter-life crisis.  Especially for me, someone who is terrified of change.  Yet another unique aspect of diabetes that you don't, at first sight, realize comes with the package.

    Of course, you can't have bittersweet without the sweet.  Over time we'll all grow to love our adult endocrinologists, and if not we'll keep searching until we find our perfect match. Compatibility is as important with an endocrinologist as it is with a significant other.  But once we're comfortable, being a grown-up won't seem all that bad. 

     P.S. Don't tell Peter Pan I said that

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