1. What do you do to prepare for a doctor’s appointment to make sure they go well?
2. Have you ever had a poor relationship with a doctor/CDE and then it got better? What did you do to improve it?
3. What qualities do you look for in a healthcare professional?
4. What advice do you have for a fellow PWD or parent who is struggling with their healthcare professional?
Allison asked the above and I've been answering in bits and pieces but its truly blog worthly.
I just got back from a good appointment with my endocronologist and so I feel qualified to answer.
No matter which doctor, I try to make sure I show up with enough data and information so that we can have an intelligent conversation. Endo is easy, as we always do our labs the week before, and usually get the results back the next day. I also try to make sure I'm using my pump right at least the week before, not always easy. This time, was because I was in the habit.
Sleep doctor appointments tend to be an emergency. I still try to remember what is keeping me from sleeping.
If I have questions about something I'll bring an article or link from the internet. I also always bring a internet device so I can look things up. They are good but they haven't always looked at interactions between diabetes and whatever item we're doing so I can do a quick search while we are thinking about it. That's been good with several medications.
Yes, I've had a poor relationship that got better -- sleep doctor -- since the meds didn't work he was convinced I wasn't compliant with the equipment, that was before we got the equipment that recorded everything. Now that the CPAP machine ACTUALLY tells him I'm compliant he listens better.
I've also fired doctors -- primary care physican that I inherited. He was quite insistant he knew better than the endo -- the final straw was when his assistant grabbed my hand and did a finger stick which I got charged for. I knew for a fact that my meter was more accurate than theirs. It still took me a year until we mutually fired each other. He accused me of wanting a "doc in box" (probably not his words, but his point) and I tried that for a year. Now I have a primary care physician that share records and space with the endo and realizes that they each have their own job to do. I still have trust issues.
Qualities I look for: my best doctors listen to me and treat me with respect. They realize that I'm proactive in my health care and know more about diabetes that they do (even the endo -- because I live it and he doesn't -- however, he can look at a graph and know how to tweak my pump, I don't -- I can't just react).
If things are clicking, it might be time to go shopping for a different doctor. It's hard to know - sometimes they will let you know it is time to go. Sometimes you have to figure it out on your own. Biggest sign: you dread going to the doctor.