Going to see my Endo for the first time this week. Overall I've been managing pretty well, but am looking to the more experienced people out there for questions I should ask him. I already have some of the basic ones but I'm sure there are some that I'm missing.
Is this your first endo appointment ever or your first appointment with THIS endo?
First Endo appointment ever. I was just diagnosed back in May.
I would ask him to explain what his approach is. You are the customer. I would have liked to know these things from the start:
1) What are my dietary needs (carb-wise & otherwise)? Do you have a dietitian on your team who can teach me how to count carbs?
2) How do I figure out my changing insulin needs and communicate to you and your staff about how I'm doing?
3) Do you have recommendations for mental health professionals? (Having a chronic condition will wear on you).
4) Do you have any training for significant others about how to deal with things they might see out of me? (Everyone responds differently to lows and not always in the same way every time).
The most important thing that doesn't relate to the endo exactly, but is very important, is to find people who have been where you're at and try to develop some relationships with them. And find someone you trust to talk to about your feelings about what's going on. It took me quite a while to really come to grips with what having this disease means.
Family members don't always understand that you can seem to have a handle on your diabetes, but your diabetes has other ideas. If you don't have a relaxing hobby, find something that helps you relieve stress and gives you enjoyment (without being a bad habit--like showtunes)!
Write down your questions and concerns because you might be too nervous to remember it all. You may think you will remember it all but trust me, your mind might be racing through a lot. My endo gave me meters to keep at work and one at home. Now my Endo likes to have one that can be downloaded on her computer. Mine explained about the A1C checks 2 times yearly, many home glucose checks when I did not feel good and when I went on insulin.
I wished I had asked mine 'How will I know when my levels get too high, and/or too low?" What are some good references for you to read to learn about your condition? I took advice from members here and read the book 'Think Like A Pancreas' and learned an awful lot from that book.
There are a lot of doom and gloom things that go with this condition so try not to get too down. Being armed with education helps us battle the bad of our condition.
After several endos and one in particular ("He who shall not be named") I decided that it was very important to me that my endo be able to work with my "diabetes philosophy" and that she support patient centered care. My current endo certainly has her flaws, but she is empathetic and a good listener, she puts me at the center of all the decisions and she accepts my philosophical choices to follow a low carb diet and maintain tight blood sugar control. But everyone will have different things that make for a good match with a doctor.
ps. Certain things indicate an attentive endo. In my experience taking a proper history and looking for complications (some which may not be obvious to you) is a major thing. If your endo doesn't check your feet on your first ever endo visit, that is not good.
I like the advice you have received so far, Understanding your endo's approach is really key to everything else, IMO.
Also, I can't reiterate enough 1DebY's advice to write your questions down; is there any chance you could send them to the endo in advance?
When I was interviewing for a new endo, I had some really basic questions:
What do you hope to accomplish in each visit? (Foot exam, discussing A1C results, reviewing previously sent data/log results for Time in Range, discussing changes in therapy, etc)
Who is the captain of the ship called "My Diabetes", the endo or the patient?
Will I see you or will I see your PA/Nurse/CDE?
Hope it all goes well for you.
This is what I would ask, as this is a lot of what I asked my endo (and my cde ...who answers these with more detail but some of the same answers and advice) .
1. What are my a1c and daily blood sugar goals?
2. What do I do for sick days ? (this went over a lot easier with my CDE but my endo tried lol)
3. What do I do if my blood sugar goes too high or too low? (same as the last one)
4. How often do you think I should test? (I wasnt' typed yet and wasn't sure what to do about this other than I was testing 4 times a day and I was gonna start insulin and I needed to know what he thought)
Also I wasn't on insulin yet and asked a ton of questions about insulin and that's basically it.
I'm sure I asked more but those were the most I thought of right now.