As a person with diabetes, your doctor is one of the most important people to communicate with. But so many of us find it hard to talk to our doctors. This can be because some doctors don’t recognise how difficult diabetes can be to manage – even if you’re doing everything ‘right’ (eating well, taking medication, exercising) there are still unexplained blood glucose readings. Feeling judged by doctors makes things worse, as then it doesn’t feel like a safe space to talk. On the other hand, having a supportive doctor can make all the difference to your diabetes management.
A recent question on Diabetic South Africans asked if people felt supported or judged by their doctors, and the answers were surprising – take a look.
7 tips for talking to your diabetes doctor
We found this excellent article by Accu-Chek with detailed information about how to talk to your doctor, including:
- Know who’s on your healthcare team
- You have a say in your healthcare
- How much do you want to know?
- Know what to discuss and ask about
- Do you know about your medical tests?
- Know what to do before and after your appointment
- Problems talking to your healthcare provider?
It made me realise that while I always want to know all the details and don’t mind getting into the medical stuff, many people aren’t comfortable with that. It’s important to go to your appointment prepared, because we usually don’t have long with our doctors (15 minutes goes so fast!) Having a list of questions to ask or a specific problem to discuss can be really helpful.
Making informed decisions
It’s also a good reminder that we have rights when it comes to our healthcare choices:
The most important member of your healthcare team is you! Other than doing what it takes to manage diabetes day to day, this also means that you have a say in your treatment. In fact, your healthcare provider should explain your diagnosis and all of your treatment options to you so that you can make an informed decision with regard to your health.
Read more excellent tips on how to talk to your doctor here.