For some of us the question of why we are taking a certain medication is obvious. I was surprised, however, when a new friend who has diabetes showed me the huge number of pill bottles that she has, few of which she had any idea why she took.
3. Take your blood glucose meter and any printouts from the meter that you have. “We download meters at every visit,” Dr. Reid says. “The information that can be shared from that dataset is invaluable. You get charts, graphs, and lists. We can spread it out and both learn from it. You worked hard for this information, so you might as well get the benefit from it.”
4. Almost all of us regularly see several specialists and sometimes get lab reports from them. Keep all of your doctors in the loop.
“If you have labs or letters from a physician and you know that they are not in the same medical system, bring them along,” Dr. Reid says. “We can copy them and include them in your charting. We can also review them to make sure we are not duplicating medications/labs/procedures.”
The other doctor who helped me on this article has been my friend and primary care physician, Jay Krakovitz, MD. But sadly for me he is moving out of state.
The suggestions that I got from Dr. Krakovitz reinforce Dr. Reid’s recommendations with emphasis on the first and second points above.
“Make a list of your questions ahead of time,” is Dr. Krakovitz’s first recommendation. Your list should include all the other doctors you see.
He continued. “A major part of what we do in our practice as a primary care physician is to make sure that our patients aren’t taking duplicate prescriptions and that they don’t interact,” he told me. That’s why he asks his patients to bring in all the medications they are taking.
But he goes further. “Bring in a list of everything that you take over-the counter, including all your supplements.” For most of us this will be a longer list than the prescription medications we take.
My friend Bob Fenton, who writes “Exploring Diabetes Type 2,” has also written his advice on preparing to see the doctor. He makes a lot of excellent points, but one that resonated most with me was to take off your shoes and socks.
Why? Because most people who have diabetes have some neuropathy in their feet. When we take off our shoes and socks we are being proactive in seeking the medical treatment we deserve. Sometimes our doctors may forget to test our feet, and our bare feet can help them remember to do their job.