If you get anxious about your upcoming diabetes appointment you are not alone. Alexander and I have been attending diabetes appointments for over seven years and they can still be stressful. In Calgary, throughout the year we alternate between appointments with an endocrinologist, a dietician and a diabetes nurse. Although each appointment has a specific focus they all involve learning Alexander’s latest A1C. That still feels like a report card about how well we are managing diabetes.
Here are some tactics I have adopted over the years to manage reactions to appointments.
- Remind yourself that the medical professionals are part of your team, working together to support your child’s long-term health.
- A few days before the appointment pull together your child’s logbook and any necessary printouts to share with staff. Being prepared helps me reduce anxiety.
- Honestly look at how you and your family are doing emotionally and share any concerns at the appointment. Each time I have shared that we were struggling the medical team has rushed to offer extra support.
- Talk to your child before the appointment. In an age appropriate way, probe how they feel about the upcoming visit. Remind your child and yourself about how hard you work every day so that the blood work numbers are not your only measure of success.
- Don’t discount your opinion or intuition about your child. You are the expert on your child.
- Build in something special to mark the day. It might be a reward or an outing. Find some way to acknowledge how hard he is working and increase the appeal of the medical appointment.
For more tips and testimonials to encourage you to care for yourself, your child and your family, read my book, Parenting Joyfully When Your Child Has Diabetes.