When we make an appointment to see our doctor, it’s because we recognize that we need help with our health. But when we enter his or her office we need to be sure not to abdicate our responsibility.
We have the primary responsibility for our health. Diabetes is a disease that, perhaps more than any other, depends much more on those of us who have it than on the doctor.
Actually, how could it be otherwise for anyone? Few people will get more than 15 minutes of the doctor’s time every three months.
We decide what we eat, how much physical activity we get, and whether we will take our prescribed medicine. While that’s obvious, too often we trade this active role in managing our health for a passive role at the doctor’s office.
Have you noticed that people who are successful in managing meetings almost always prepare a written agenda? We need to do exactly that for each office visit.
An agenda works best when we write it out in our priority order. We need to cover a limited number of points that we can work on together in a quarter of an hour. The agenda should be bullet points, not paragraphs. It works best when we give a copy to our doctor.
When we prepare an agenda, it forces us to think out what we want to get out of our appointment. At the same time it leads our doctor to focus on what’s troubling us the most.