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Maximizing Your Diabetes Doctor Appointments

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As a diabetic woman, do you wish for better relationships with your doctors?

Living with diabetes is so integrated into my daily life. I want to have that important and personal relationship with my physicians.

It takes two in a relationship.

These are some thoughts I have about improving relationships with your physicians.

• Come to your appointment prepared.
I write a list of prescriptions that need refilling. I take my calendar, I think through any recent doctor appointments that I have had and make notes on issues I need to report to my endocrinologist. I record my last menstrual cycle dates or any notes about why I might be off-schedule.

• Write down questions.
I write down the pressing questions about managing some of my daily blood glucose levels. I also think about my past history and future concerns that I am not experiencing, but will be one day (menopause, osteoporosis, vision or circulations problems).

• Be prepared to admit shortcomings.
I know others fear the results of lab work and the ever-domineering scale. I am prepared to address my eating habits, my stress levels and my level of accountability in my diabetes daily management.

This is never easy for me. I find it makes my doctor know the real me. I find that if I can be open and honest about my faults, they sometimes help me to see my own value in what I am doing right.

• Be prepared for results.
Only rarely do I have a surprising result come back. If my hemoglobin A1C test is reported higher than last time, I usually know it’s coming.

I used to protest and make excuses. Now I let my endocrinologist know if my life is presently more stressful for some reason, or why I might not be taking the responsibility that I should. More often than not, once I share, my doctor acknowledges it and helps me either regain some control or simply sympathizes with me.

• Ask your doctor what they would appreciate your bringing to the next appointment.

• Ask if they prefer emails and faxing over calling in questions to the nurse.

• If you or your child is working with an endocrinologist and there is not a good fit, find another.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.



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