Today’s topic for the “Diabetes Blog Week” is about healthcare.
Most people who live with a chronic illness end up with a lot of experience when it comes to dealing with healthcare. How would you improve or change your healthcare experience? What would you like to see happening during medical visits with your healthcare team? How about when dealing with your health insurance companies? What’s your Healthcare Wish List or Biggest Frustration? Today is the day to share it all!
I go to my endocrinologist every 3 or 4 months, but it sometimes seems like an unnecessary cost to go so often. Now that I have a Dexcom CGM, I have a pretty good idea what my A1C is these days, even without the lab work at the doctor’s office. That used to be my main motivator to go to my quarterly appointments.
Since Type 1 Diabetes is a self-managed condition, especially after having it for 20-something years, I’m not waiting for my doctor to tell me how to adjust things when my blood sugars start to get a little jacked up. I trust myself to make adjustments in my management… because that’s really what Type 1 is all about– constant adjustments! So really, why am I still going to those endo appointments as often as I do?
I’m happy with my current endocrinologist and I especially like the diabetic educators he has staffed at his office. The thing I used to dread the most about my appointments at my previous endo was getting my blood drawn for lab work. Needles, combined with veins, is just something I’ve never gotten used to. And saying it’s just “something I’ve never gotten used to” is actually a huge understatement.
I get pretty nauseated and there’s a big dramatic build up. Then, because I get so nervous, I tend to freak out the nurse that has the unlucky task of drawing my blood. It’s usually not pretty, or easy. But the great news is, at Diabetes America (where my current endocrinologist practices), they use a simple finger prick to give me A1C results. It’s only once a year that they do a more thorough panel that requires the dreaded vein drain. And that has been a dream come true for me!
Although I don’t dread the appointments nearly as much as I used to, they do consume at least half of the day, require me to “fast” for 4 hours (which depending on time of day, and my blood sugars, can be challenging), and they are costly! And they give me little to no new information. So again, why am I going to these appointments on a quarterly basis?
Maybe it’s because I want to be a “good” diabetic and follow the “rules”. (A little lame, I know.) Maybe it’s because it keeps me motivated to have a “good” A1C that a health care professional is going to look at and hopefully praise me for. (A little shallow, I realize.)Maybe (and this reasoning actually seems to have some value), keeping regular appointments keeps me very accountable and makes me feel like I’m doing everything in my power to say on top of diabetes. And that’s important to me! But maybe, “regular” appointments could just as well be every 6 months, rather than every 3 months.
So I guess I’m putting that idea on my wish list… The wish list I’m pretty sure is going to come true!