Tips For More Productive Diabetes Appointments

Many of us arrive home after a medical appointment kicking ourselves for failing to mention a symptom change, or not getting clarification on an important question.

To avoid this frustration the Mayo Clinic offers several tips for more effective meetings with your healthcare professionals. Just a bit of planning will ensure the consult is productive for all involved, and keep your diabetes management plan up-to-date and on track.

Ten Office Visit Tips

  1. An extra pair of eyes and ears are always helpful during medical appointments. Whenever possible, have a family member or trusted friend accompany you. They may pick up on significant details that you miss, and can later help process what was said. Taking notes is also recommended.
  2. Before the appointment, write down any questions you have. If there are more than a couple, put the most pressing concerns at the top of the list to make sure they get addressed. Some questions on a longer list may have to wait for another visit.
  3. It’s a good idea to repeat back to providers what they tell you, so they can affirm you’ve understood. Be sure to ask for further clarification if you remain uncertain, or feel confused.
  4. Take your glucose monitoring log, insulin administration records, and your glucose meter to the appointment. Make sure to include all episodes of hypoglycemia in your log.
  5. Bring a list of your current prescriptions and over the counter medications, including any herbs, vitamins, and supplements; indicate the dose and frequency of each.
  6. Early in the visit, let your provider know if you need prescription refills for medications or supplies.
  7. Be ready to answer questions regarding your daily activity routine, exercise regimen, and typical dietary patterns. Keeping a food journal during the five days prior to an office visit can prove helpful.
  8. Don’t leave the appointment without knowing when you should return for a follow-up, and find out what signs or symptoms would warrant seeking medical attention sooner.
  9. Ask for the best way to contact your provider should questions or concerns arise.
  10. If you happen to be consulting with a medical specialist, make sure a summary of the visit will be delivered to your primary physician.

Though spontaneity is one of the joys of existence, doctor visits are events that tend to turn out best when we go in prepared. Following these tips will ensure your medical appointments provide clear information and direction for successful diabetes control.

Source: Mayo Clinic
Photo credit: Ilmicrofono Oggiono

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