I'm working on an article for Diabetic Living to address this question: what do you do to make the most out of your doctor and CDE appointments? How do you prepare for them? Or what do you do during them to get the biggest "bang for the buck" instead of leaving confused and unsure? Have you stood up for yourself or changed your relationship with your doc by being assertive/asking questions?
I like to prepare a list when I have a doctors visit. I make a list of all my medications, my supplements, summarize the appointments with all the rest of the "health" team and a specific list of what prescription renewals I need. And most of important, I usually put it at the top, is my list of questions and issues. If I leave the doctors office without even a recognition of my questions, I know I have "doctor problems." Unfortunately, many doctors just don't really care about my questions or issues. Jeez, I wonder who is working for who.
I do pretty much the same thing Brian, my list contains everything, questions, rx etc. but I usually forget something anyway. I also write a "my story" page now and give it directly to the doc at the beginning of the appointment if this is the first visit. One doc's assistant read it too and thanked me for that, or maybe it was the doc, I've forgotten now. If someone won't listen to my history or let me talk, I don't go back. That happened with an ortho doc last year... very strange, because then he actually called me before the next appointment to see how I was doing.. I have never had any doctor call me out of the blue to see how I was! I still didn't go back to him because I felt he was kind of argumentative in not listening to me though.
I haven't been good at this, but I think it helps to collect data in a format that the doctor is used to reading. In theory if you are working hard, they'll be able to see it. I agree with having your questions and concerns written out. Seems like my brain uses more carbs during Dr. meetings, and I've gone a little low before, so make sure BG isn't low walking in.
The most important thing is probably to find a good doctor who is willing to work with you on your goals, does the necessary testing, and doesn't dictate how you will manage your diabetes.
They have my login info for the Medtronic Carelink, so they can load it into their system and see what's been going on. I think the CSV file loads into the "Pro" version which seems to be niftier than the "patient" version we get, which seems sort of annoying.
I get whatever tests are to be done ahead of time so we have actual data to talk about. Unfortunately, I usually do ok so there's not all that much to discuss, I don't have questions, she asks if I have problems with lows, I don't ok, see you later. If I have something that needs adjustment, I just adjust it and see what happens. If I called or emailed them asking what to do, it would probably take two weeks to work back and forth on something I can try out in 3 days.
I agree getting the blood work done before your visit is a good idea too this way you can discuss results with your doc. You need to have them fax you the results before the visit too so you can read them before seeing the doctor and discuss them during the visit with some knowledge of them. I go to a hospital lab near me that is more accurate for my endo blood work instead of having them send it out to my insurance lab. I don't do that for other docs, but I do always have them send me a copy of my blood work and later discuss any questions I may have.
A1C and "BMP" = "Basic Metabolic Panel" every 3 months.
Cholesterol and thyroid numbers every 6 months. I'm not sure everyone gets their thyroid numbers run that every often... but I am hypothyroid and take medication.
Kidney tests (including urine tests) every 6 months too.
Doc always gives me a copy of my lab test data today. 30+ years ago... that was the exception. Very very rarely back when I was a kid, would would they even tell me my bg number, the attitude about medical tests was so incredibly different back then, that it was for "doctors only". And this was before there was home bg testing! I think sometimes they would tell my parents but not me (even though I was high school age back then) but my parents would've had no clue. I remember being very frustrated back then!
I see doctors at a university hospital, they have a computer record system, I send a E-mail with a list of issues and this gives the PA time to organize the visit.They do there best to cover my demands which are few after 30 years of managing my diabetes.
Scott, My endo does a complete metabolic panel, a cbc, a lipid panel, a1c, free thyroxine/tsh,microalbumin, creatinine random, bun(this wasn't done this last time I think for some reason), glyco mark, and fructosamine. Sometimes there are other ones added on, and if I ask for any specific tests such as vitamins he adds on whatever I want done. One of the tests he does, I think it was fructosamine, held the test up so it wasn't there when I went to my appointment, so next time I will ask to have that one done at the office. These tests are done 4x per year at each visit. When I first got out of the hospital, I was going every 3 and then every 6 weeks and had more frequent testing until I stabilized.
In general I think the venus a1c is supposed to be the most accurate but you can ask her to do a challenge with her a1c tester too just to see if they get the same range.