Visits with a health care provider (HCP) may be quite brief and it is important to arrive at the appointment prepared to make sure you get your concerns addressed. Having diabetes makes that preparation even more important.
Here is a checklist of the items to bring to the visit:
- Your blood glucose test results and your blood glucose meter. Many clinics can download the blood glucose meter data at your visit for the HCP to review. It is best to have a backup plan just in case. Consider downloading your data at home and printing it to bring along to the visit. The other option would be to document your blood glucose results in a paper blood glucose log or into an app.
- A list of all the prescription and over the counter medications you are currently taking. List any concerns you are having regarding drug cost, side effects, indications, etc. Be sure to address any problems you are having with being able to take any of the medications as prescribed.
- Your current insurance information.
- Be prepared to discuss any episodes of hypoglycemia that have occurred since last visit. Include any symptoms you had, treatment administered and how long it took to recover. Whenever possible, document events that led up to the hypoglycemia.
- Be prepared to thoroughly discuss any new symptoms you have experienced. When did it start? Where is the exact location? Describe how it feels. Does anything seem to make it better or worse?
- Are you planning to start doing something new or differently? For instance, starting an exercise program or wanting to try a new diet. It is important to discuss this information with your HCP before you get started so they can give their thoughts on if they feel it is safe for you to do this.
- Write down any questions that you have to bring along to the visit. Are you curious about a new diabetes technology or medication? Do you think you could benefit from a visit with a diabetes care and education specialist? Are you planning to travel soon?
- Consider bringing a family member or friend along so there is an extra set of ears to hear the instructions. Take notes during the visit whenever possible.
- Make sure that you receive a summary of the visit when you leave and that you understand when to schedule your next follow up appointment.