(November is Diabetes Awareness Month and November 14 is World Diabetes Day. To raise awareness of diabetes and to provide information on best management, the Sharbot Family Health Team Diabetes Education Team (Cathy Fox, Certified Diabetes Educator, Registered Nurse and Saman Shaikh, Certified Diabetes Educator, Registered Dietitian) will be contributing weekly articles during the month of November.)
Did you know that a little preparation before your diabetes visit will help you get the most out of the appointment? According the Diabetes Canada, preparation for your diabetes-focused visit ensures you are prepared and know what to expect. Diabetes Canada and your Certified Diabetes educator have a few suggestions that will help you get the most out of your visit.
Try to have your blood work done before the appointment. This helps the doctor and the Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE) focus on the next steps in the organization of your diabetes care- including medication addition or change in dose.
Bring along your blood sugar log book or the actual meter. Your CDE likes to review your numbers to see if there are any adjustments that can be made.
You can also bring along your updated list of medications to ensure the medical records are the same.
Identify your goals. What do you want to get out of this visit? What are you trying to achieve? You most likely have good diabetes management at the top of the list, but there may be other topics you want to discuss, such as weight loss, becoming more active, learning to cook healthy meals or even becoming more involved with your community.
Bringing a list of written questions to your visit ensures all your concerns are addressed. Your concerns are important! Bring along a family member or friend for support. Sometimes two sets of ears are better then one! Maybe the family member or friend can take brief notes for you to review after the visit is over.
And finally, to achieve the most from your diabetes appointment, be honest with yourself and the CDE. We are here to help, not pass judgement. Discuss any possible barriers in your life, such as limited finances, or fears about diabetes. Your CDE can work with you to find a solution that is beneficial to you. Over time, the small changes that you have incorporated into your lifestyle will lead to sustainable diabetes control.
Remember, diabetes management is a lifelong process with ups and downs. A good working relationship with your CDE will help you in your journey through this process to achieve your goals.
The Sharbot Lake Family Health Team has hosted a Diabetes Education Program since 2006. Two on site full time Certified Diabetes Educators work closely with the other health care professionals to provide care to approximately 500 patients with diabetes or prediabetes in the community.
(Cathy Fox, Registered Nurse and Saman Shaikh, Registered Dietitian are both Certified Diabetes Educators and can help you learn how to best manage your diabetes or pre-diabetes. Please call the Sharbot Lake Family Health Team at 613-279-2100 to book an appointment to discuss your diabetes.)