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August 21, 2002


Question from Lansing, Michigan, USA:

My 26 year old boyfriend, who has had type 1 diabetes for four years and is a native of northern Scotland, went a considerable amount of time before knowing he had the disease, and now he has several complications (complete loss of vision in left eye, right eye steadily worsening, ulcer on foot, gastroparesis, and recently erectile dysfunction. He also has symptoms of depression. My reason for posting this message is simple -- I love him and he's too young to die. I want him to live better than he has been, and he has gone through so much testing that he is a bit jaded about his health. I was wondering if perhaps seeing a physician in the US would benefit him, although that could create some real financial burdens. In any case, I will strongly appreciate any information you can give me.


While I am very sorry to hear about your boyfriend’s poor state of health, I am not clear what it is that you would wish to achieve from a consultation with a US physician. If he is resident in the US, then it is mandatory that he registers with and attends a physician. However, if he is still in Scotland then he should do so there.

The standards of diabetes care in the UK and US obviously vary a bit geographically, but there should be no difficulty in locating high quality care in Scotland. Your boyfriend may have specific issues around attending his local clinic, but if he’s willing to travel, then there is no bar to him being reviewed in another area — he simply requires a referral from his primary care physician.