A great doctor means everything in diabetes care. The right doctor for your teen with diabetes can do a lot to help with a parent’s well-being as well!
Last week my son went to his first diabetes appointment without Mom. I had emailed the clinic. I had given them a heads up about a lot of things that I thought that they should know but I was not at the appointment.
A little while after the appointment, I was both surprised and impressed to receive a text from my son. I asked him how it went and he said, “I will call you after.” He was going to call and share the appointment with me? I was very pleased that he wanted to do this.
The doctor talked to my teen
Later that evening we did talk. He told me that they had a lot to say, most of it he didn’t remember. Again, my son is 16 and forgetting what adults say is a teen brain specialty. The nurse made a few changes. His doctor commented on how much he had grown…and then his doctor talked, and talked, and talked to him for a full hour. That was not unusual. This doctor takes a lot of time with his patients and their families. He gets to know you, shares with you and advises you. He is wonderful.
The doctor focused on my teen’s learning not his A1c
My son was a little shocked by his high A1c (personally I was shocked that it wasn’t higher). His doctor quickly told him that he didn’t care about that. It was just a number. (Yes you read that right! His DOCTOR said he wasn’t concerned about a high A1c!)
The doctor’s concern was with my son learning to handle HIS disease. He wanted my child to know how to troubleshoot the issues himself. It was important for my son to know how much insulin to give himself, how to adjust a basal or bolus setting. This was on him. Now was his time to step up and learn.
I was beaming on the other end of the phone! This was what I had been aiming for as well but coming from his doctor was different from the “momma yammer”. We do sit down and discuss strategies. For the past few years, when making changes I would first ask him if he thought it was a bolus or basal issue. He now had to develop the confidence to do it all on his own. I was thrilled and reminded him that he was already doing a great job learning.
The doctor gave him a two-year plan
No one was suggesting that this complete transformation would happen overnight. This was his two-year plan and his doctor had told him that messing up and having a high A1c while he found his way was okay.
This was also a good reminder for Mom and a great message for my teen. Learn! Learn! and then when you have it figured out, go back and fix that A1c but for now learn about you, your body and your disease.
Having a great doctor is so important. Having the right doctor for your teen with diabetes who understands how to talk to your child is golden. It helps your teen and helps mom and dad feel more confident in the teen’s next steps.
If you are looking to make the most out of your next diabetes appointment, the Diabetes Advocacy Diabetes Planner has a section to help you out.