Sometimes my head spins because of everything I have to deal with on a daily basis. Some of it is life-related, but much of it has to do with diabetes logistics. There is so much to manage (both big and small details) with daily care.
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 to be proactive and stay a step ahead of the task at hand.
For 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, and that means it’s time to plan when I will 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 in preparation for things like doctors’ appointments to help lessen my load and allow myself time to focus on other areas of my life?
Here are my 9 tips on how to prep to see your diabetes healthcare team so you can 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.
- Go in mentally prepared with the goal to leave with one important take-away that will 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…not that I am speaking from experience or anything!)
- Snap a photo of your current medications before you leave the house and make sure both the product name and dosage are visible—-this will help you have a discussion about current medication and remind you to ask about any prescriptions you might need written or changed.
- And don’t forgot to make a follow-up appointment so you can repeat this list the next time around.
I hope this helps! Did I miss anything? What are your tips to prepare for a doctor’s appointment? I’d love to hear from you.
Tags: diabetes management
, doctor appointment
, doctors appointment tips
, healthcare team
, naomi ruperto