Treating Diabetes – Make the Most of Your Healthcare Visit

You are the “owner” of your diabetes care team and in order to get the best possible care you need to be proactive. This includes planning ahead for your healthcare visit as you would any important “meeting”. Make a list of questions and be sure all of them are answered. Your visit will be much more productive if you anticipate the questions your provider will be asking, such as:
How often are you self-monitoring your blood glucoses and what are the results?
Are you have low blood glucoses and if so when, how often, and under what circumstance (skipping a meal, eating later than usual, eating less than usual, being more active than usual, or in the middle of the night)?
Do you need refills of your medications?
Do you need refills of your testing supplies or insulin needles or syringes?
Are you having any foot problems?
Have you seen any other providers (eye doctor, dentist, foot doctor, heart doctor) and if so have you had any lab/blood work done?
If you have had lab/blood work, do you have copies of the results?
Are you having other symptoms especially related to vision, feet, and heart disease?
Your provider will want to check your feet, so be prepared with easy to remove shoes and socks. A diabetes care checklist is a helpful tool to take to your diabetes healthcare visit to ensure you are having all the proper screenings and preventative care. Here is a list of other important things to take with you to your healthcare visit:
Your diabetic shoes and insoles to be checked for proper fit and wear.
All of your medications, including over-the-counter medications and herbal supplements.
Your glucose logbook and monitor.
If you check your blood pressure at home, take those readings with you, as well as your blood pressure monitor.
Here is a list of issues you may need to discuss with your provider at your health-care visit:
Medications to continue or stop taking during a sick day
Individual treatment goals
Need for diabetic shoes
Framingham Cardiac Risk Score
Cardiac artery calcium scoring
Insulin pump therapy
Influenza and pneumonia vaccines
Sleep apnea
Erectile dysfunction
Your fitness to begin an exercise program
Your need for a Glucagon prescription to combat hypoglycemia
The need for diabetes self-management training if never educated or a refresher course if you have already had formal education
You deserve great healthcare. Demand it and be proactive in the process by properly planning ahead for your healthcare visit.