Visiting the doctor. For some, this is a scary sentence. For others, it's a day to be proud. Sometimes, and I'll admit that I am sometimes guilty of this, people are afraid to visit or talk to their doctors in fear that they will be scolded or looked down upon because of their most recent blood sugar readings or the way that they have been taking care of themselves.
Sometimes, when I go to to the doctor and I know that my A1C is going to be high, I could be nervous, but this is a fear that I have to conquer. I think that for some, your doctor is someone you feel that you have to please - someone who evaluates your blood sugars. However, in reality, your doctor is the opposite of that. They do not evaluate and grade your levels. Instead, they examine and improve them! If your blood sugars were perfect, your doctor would probably be suspicious! You are not going to the doctor, and the doctor is not making your blood sugars better, so that they are pleased...you are both working so that you feel the best that you can feel.
My doctor has never once been mad at me if my blood sugars have been high or if she sees that I messed up some days in controlling my levels. Instead, we work together to try to correct these errors and make my numbers better for the next visit. After every visit, without fail, my fears are always gone and I stride out of the office motivated and confident that I will maintain better numbers from then on.
My doctor's policy is that we go into her office about every 3 months to meet and discuss my levels, and that we email her my records every two weeks so that she can make any changes if necessary. I think this is such a good policy because it keeps everyone constantly updated and we are always in touch with each other. However, constant communication does not supplement meeting with my doctor in person. That is the time when we are able to have long conversations, she is able to evaluate me, and we can have more open discussions.
Before each doctor's visit, my mom and I come up with any questions we may have or topics we specifically want to make sure to address during the visit so that we know we will not forget. Being prepared to go to the doctor is important. If your doctor is ready to work, you should be ready too. A typical doctor's visit for me usually starts off with my doctor downloading my blood sugars and insulin dosages off of my insulin pump, and with an AIC blood test. Then, she examines my height, weight, etc. and makes sure everything is OK. Next, we discuss my blood sugars. Instead of my doctor telling me exactly what to change or do, I explain certain circumstances, we talk about certain days in my record, and we work together (with my mom who is at every visit also) to come up with ways to improve my blood sugar.
Of course, my mom and I listen to my doctor with regards to just about everything she says, but if there is something we do not agree with, have questions about, or would like to understand better, we are able to have a conversation with her until all three of us agree on a plan. We also go over ways that I can better take care of my diabetes that may not involve changing my insulin dosage. For example, when I was younger, I was stuck in the habit of giving my insulin after I ate meals rather than before. My doctor had to talk to me about why I should not do this, and at every visit she still makes sure that I give my insulin before I eat.
Your doctor is one of your greatest advocates. It is so important to tell your doctor about your faults in your care. Faults are not anything to be embarrassed about or ashamed of, but rather opportunities for you to prove that you can improve. However, you will not improve unless you discuss these very faults. It is also important that your doctor knows about your life outside of diabetes. For example, my doctor knows that I run every day, so my daily insulin dosages basically account for me exercising every day. Therefore, instead of making a plan for when I exercise, my doctor and I decided to make one for the days that I do not exercise. If she did not know that I was so active, we would never have had come up with this idea! Talking about your every day life and working with your doctor is an extremely valuable part of your doctor's visit.
Visiting the doctor. This is not a statement that you should feel anxious about. Instead, recognize this as a day that you should prepare for and as a day that will leave you feeling better, more confident, and more motivated to have even better blood sugars by the time of your next visit!
Hello everyone! I'm Hannah! I'm 16 years old and have been living a normal life with type 1 diabetes for 10 years! I'm so excited to share the journey of Penpals United with you through our blog!