Living with diabetes blog

Get the most from your next diabetes appointment

By Sara J. Carlson, R.N., C.D.E. June 11, 2016

Have you ever walked away from a clinic appointment disappointed that you didn't get your questions answered or confused about the plan going forward?

If so, you're certainly not alone, but there are things you can do in preparation for your next appointment that could improve your experience.

  • It can be helpful to write down your questions prior to the appointment so you don't forget them. Prioritize your concerns because, if the list is long, some issues may have to wait for another visit.
  • If possible, bring a trusted friend or family member with you. It's beneficial to have another set of ears in case you miss something or need help processing what was said. Taking notes is also advisable.
  • Bring a list of your medications including the dosage and frequency of both prescription and over-the-counter drugs, herbs, supplements and vitamins.
  • Bring your recent glucose and insulin administration records as well as your glucose meter. Be sure to include any occurrences of hypoglycemia.
  • Be prepared to answer questions about your exercise and activity routine.
  • Be prepared to discuss your typical eating pattern. Ideally, keep a food journal for a five day period before the appointment.
  • Let your provider know early in the visit if you need prescription refills for medications, testing supplies, syringes or pen needles.
  • Repeat what your provider has told you to be sure you understand. Ask for clarification if needed.

Before leaving:

  • Find out if and when you should return for a follow-up visit.
  • Ask what signs or symptoms are concerning and warrant further attention.
  • Ask for the best way to reach the provider should questions arise.
  • If you're seeing a specialist, ask that person to send a summary of the appointment to your primary care provider.

Let us know how you get the most from your appointments.

Be well,
Sara

June 11, 2016