When Diabetes Is Not Your Only Health Concern
Steps to improve your health in the wake of many chronic conditions:
Use a small binder with different sections for:
a. Contact information of all your providers, pharmacy, insurance, suppliers, and anyone else you might call regarding your healthcare.
b. Updated medication list including supplements and allergies (with drug name, doses, how often taken, any side effects) and copies for your healthcare team.
c. Copies of laboratory and diagnostic tests. It is your right to ask for copies of all laboratory tests.
d. List of medical problems and surgeries.
e. Questions to ask at next visit.
a. Be prepared with a list of concerns before going to your appointment.
b. Show your medication list at each visit. Have a copy ready to provide if possible. Ask your doctor and pharmacist about any possible adverse drug interactions within your list. Many pharmacists have the ability to enter all your medications into the computer to run a reporton possible adverse reactions. For example, one doctor may have ordered you take Humalog insulin for meals and another order Glyburide before meals. Taking both together is usually not recommended (they both lower glucose and so you'd be at a higher risk for low blood glucose or hypoglycemia)
c. Before getting more lab tests, ask your doctor or healthcare provider to look at the copies of results in your binder. You may be able to prevent duplicative tests.
d. Talk about your symptoms or treatments. Ask if the treatment may aggravate the other condition. For example, Prednisone is used for COPD or rheumatoid arthritis, amongst others. It is notorious for raising blood glucose. Ask your doctor for a plan to address the glucose levels while you are taking Prednisone.
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There are two reasons it took me as long as it did to "come out" publicly with diabetes (and hypertension). One was denial: in my mind, I was too young to have type 2 diabetes — a condition I only knew in people over the age of 55 — and the other was fear of public shaming. Turn back the clock several years before my own diagnosis. Our workplace was a bit more stratified, with two editors above me. The elder of the two was somewhat overweight and, like many...