I believe people with diabetes are like super heroes, but we don’t realize it.
I say this to drive home the fact that we deal with a lot, and we manage both big and small details involved in day to day care, and we don’t always step back to recognize that. Let’s see…day to day tasks might include checking blood sugar, counting carbs, giving insulin, and doing any infusion set or sensor changes. Then there are the tasks that have to happen, but aren’t typically day to day…like picking up insulin from the pharmacy, ordering pump supplies, giving blood for an HbA1c, making a doctor’s appointment, and then actually going to the appointment!
With all that being said, I believe organization is key. It’s important that we be proactive, staying one step ahead of the tasks at hand. Here’s an example.
I recently noticed a note on my calendar that said “Do blood test”. This is my personal reminder that my endocrinologist appointment is in a week and a half, so it’s time to plan when I will go to do my pre-work blood test prior to the appointment. This got me thinking, what are the things I can do to get more organized to prepare for something like a doctor appointment so I can lessen the load to allow me to focus on other areas of my life?
Here are my 9 tips on how to prep to see your diabetes healthcare team and get the most out of your appointment:
- Set a reminder for yourself a few days before you need to do a blood test (if you have one planned, which you most likely do if it’s an appointment with your endocrinologist)
- If your blood test requires fasting of any kind, tell a loved one so they can remind you the night before and help keep you accountable, or put a sticky note on your refrigerator door, blood glucose meter case, bathroom mirror, or anywhere you normally go first thing in the morning
- Set a reminder for yourself for the actual appointment so it doesn’t sneak up on you
- Take notes of any specific questions you want to make sure you cover, like recent symptoms you’ve been feeling or changes in insulin doses that have been made since the last appointment
- Mentally go in prepared with the goal to have one important take-away to push you to excel in your future care
- Make sure you take your blood glucose meter with you if your doctor is going to upload any of your data, and take any back-up meters you might have used recently (like the extra one in a backpack or briefcase)
- Think through where you will wear your infusion set and insert it in an easily accessible place to disconnect and remove if your doctor is going to ask for your pump to sync up to CareLink (it’s awkward if you’re in a dress with a site in your abdomen and they ask for your pump in the waiting room, speaking from experience)
- Take a list of any and all medicine that you are no longer taking and be sure to ask about any prescriptions you might need to be written or changed
- And don’t forgot to make your follow up appointment so you can repeat this list the next time around
Did I miss anything? What are your tips to prepare for a doctor appointment? I hope this helps!
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