To get the most out of your appointments with your diabetes team members, plan ahead by writing down any questions or concerns you’d like to bring up during the appointment. Be sure to bring your list with you, as well as the following:
- Your meter and blood glucose records
- The names of any new drugs or supplements you’ve started taking since your last appointment (just bring the container if you can’t remember the name)
- A notepad if you like to take notes
Certain team members may ask you to bring other items. For example, your dietitian may ask you to keep and bring a food diary. If you’ve been having trouble operating any of your diabetes equipment, your diabetes educator will want you to have it with you to review the steps for proper use. Remembering to bring requested items with you will make your visits more productive.
Your health-care providers are likely to ask you certain questions about your life and health, but you can also volunteer information even if they don’t ask. For example, you can volunteer the information that your new medicine has been causing unpleasant side effects or that you sometimes forget to take it. You can (and should) let your team members know about any major stresses in your life that are preventing you from carrying out your diabetes care regimen. Not only may they be able to offer suggestions or resources to help you cope, but they can take these stresses into consideration when suggesting improvements in your diabetes plan.
Since much of what your team members do is educate you on how to care for your diabetes at home, be sure you understand what they’re saying, and ask questions if you don’t. All of your health-care providers should be able to explain in plain English what they are asking you to do. Some may also have printed materials they can give you that explain more about a topic raised during your appointment.