My next diabetes clinic appointment is next week. It’s been eight months since I was last there. I’m not sure how I feel about having such a long time between appointments but maybe that’s another post? Diabetes, especially type 1 diabetes, is one of the few conditions where you actually have to prepare for your clinical review appointment. It’s how you will get the most out of your visit.
For a lot of years, I just showed up with my “diary” and walked out of there disappointed. If truth be told, I was very resentful that I had to be there and a little down in the dumps about the whole diabetes thing. During these years my primary goal was to get out of there as fast as possible and get on with my life.
I became more motivated at my diabetes clinic appointments when I was considering starting a family. And that motivation and effort has paid off.
I don’t dread my clinic appointment, like many do, because I feel this is my chance to get help if I need it, or to review where I need a little extra support from my team. But I do dread the getting ready for my appointment! It is a lot of work.
Everyone has a different way they prepare for their clinic appointment. Here's how I prepare for it;
SAVING UP QUESTIONS TO ASK In between appointments, if a, non-urgent, question pops into my head I try to write it down somewhere - preferably somewhere near my Long Term Illness book which I’m already in the habit of bringing with me. This coming visit I need to get an updated letter for travelling and I’ve already noted it.
THE LABS About two/three weeks before my appointment, I have my blood drawn in my GP’s office to be sent to the lab. The results are usually sent to my clinic automatically but sometimes that hasn’t happened on time or at all, so before my appointment I collect a copy of my results and keep a copy for my own records.
BLOOD GLUCOSE RECORD This first and last thing I do to get ready for this meeting is to upload all of my blood glucose meters (I use two) to the software programme I use for my insulin pump. I also upload all the information from my insulin pump.
LONG TERM ILLNESS BOOK I bring my Long Term Illness book with my to my appointment so that I make sure it has been updated every six months. I also print out a list of all the “stuff” I use. My LTI book is 10 years old and there is a lot of stuff on it that I no longer use. This also saves a bit of time and scores me some brownie points with my endo. Always useful.
PRE-EMPT QUESTIONS I MIGHT BE ASKED I try to preempt questions I might be asked about specific high or low blood glucose readings as best I can. I try to remember that the important readings are the ones that I can’t account for. Sometimes, I have to remind my healthcare professionals of that too.The highs and lows that are from the usual culprits are ones that I can address myself. Its those very rare highs and lows where I don’t know what the cause was that are a problem. If I don’t know what caused them then how can I prevent them from reoccurring.
So, am I ready for my diabetes clinic appointment? As ready as I’ll ever be! :-D
Here is another article I thought had some very useful tips on getting the most out of your diabetes appointment.