The First Follow-Up
What to expect at the first endocrinologist appointment after diagnosis
|photo courtesy of wearechildrens.org|
Leaving on Time
9:00 am on a Tuesday
It seemed like we were cutting it a little close. We had about an hour and a half drive into the city to the children’s endocrinologist and my husband thought we had plenty of time to get there. I am the type of person who likes to leave early to allow for construction, traffic tie-ups, etc. Not my fly-by-the-seat-of-the-pants husband. The appointment was at 10:30 and we had never been to the doctor’s office before. If there was even one delay....but he was driving. So okay, I packed up what we needed for a short day trip and out the door we went.
So, we must have taken a wrong turn at Albuquerque. Looking at the Google maps, we should have gone east. How could I have known the map read backwards and we actually needed to turn west. This wasn't going well. I knew we should have left earlier. I made a call to the doctor's office and let them know we were a bit lost, but would be there as soon as possible. I hate being late. This wasn't a very good first impression.
|Photo courtesy of cchealth.org|
We arrived at the address on the cute little fridge magnet the doctor gave us while Sawyer was in the hospital. Standing outside the hospital entrance, Sawyer and I waited while his dad drove around looking for a parking space. Around and around the block he went, shrugging at us as he drove by. I decided we better get inside and dad could catch up with us later.
After going in the wrong entrance and having a security guard show us where we needed to go, (which was in an adjacent building) we arrived at the doctor's office. Out of breath and frazzled, I apologized profusely to the receptionist for being late. She handed me a clipboard with a stack of papers to fill out. I juggled the clipboard, my purse, and a tote with Sawyer's supplies, while trying to keep track of Sawyer. He also has ADHD/ODD. It wasn't easy and I'm sure I looked like a maniac to the others in the waiting room.
Sawyer and I followed a nurse into a room where they checked his blood sugar and other vitals. My cell phone was ringing and dinging with text messages and calls from Sawyer's dad. I guess I couldn't balance the phone on top of everything else. I told the nurse I had to go find my husband since he didn't understand my directions from the text. She said Sawyer would be fine. She'd watch him. I left for 10 seconds, then went back when I saw Sawyer's dad found us. The nurse was gone. She left my ADHD son alone and he was also gone. GRR! I found him outside the door playing hide and seek from the nurse.
|photo courtesy of metroparent.com|
This day was just not going well
The nurse connected Sawyer's glucose meter to a computer and downloaded all of his numbers since his last visit. It's pretty amazing how far the technology has come for people with diabetes. The nurse was able to print a graph of Sawyer's numbers and track the trends - where were the numbers high, low, were they trending higher in the morning - things like that.
Be prepared with your child's glucose meter as well as his/her log book. Before we saw the doctor, we were given another clipboard with a stack of papers to fill out. Information such as blood glucose for the last week, insulin doses, and so much more was asked for. I'd advise anyone going to their endocrinologist appointment to bring the log book. I didn't know all of the numbers off the top of my head exactly, but I had a general idea.
A representative from a research study spoke to us while we waited for the doctor. She wanted to know if we'd be interested in participating in a study about type-one diabetes. Researchers are close to a vaccine for juvenile diabetes, and data is being gathered to help with their research. She said we'd even get a $10 gift card for filling it out.
Wait a minute. I filled that long survey out and mailed it back. Where's my gift card?
Anyways, it was well worth the time if it will help researchers find a cure for this disease.
|photo courtesy of lebonheur.org|
By now, Sawyer was bouncing off the walls; literally. He was standing on the examining table, dancing on the white tissue paper and ripping it to shreds with his sneakers. He was pulling on the ear/nose/throat equipment, making a general racket, and I had a red forehead from rubbing my head non-stop. There was no reasoning with him. His father and I tried to talk to the doctor over his noise and I was impressed with her calmness. She looked at Sawyer and then to my husband and I before saying, "I think you may want to see about getting him something for that."
Overall, the visit went well. Sawyer got a thumbs up from the doctor. She gave his parents props for a job well done, also.
Phew. Through all the mayhem, we did something right.
|photo courtesy of co.madison.tn.us|
If you are going to an endocrinologist appointment, or any specialist for that matter, remember first and foremost to leave a little bit early. Allow time for wrong turns. It will save stress later; especially if your child has trouble sitting still in the examining room. Also, bring all the information you have - log books, journal entries, meal diaries, glucose meter, and something for a headache.
It ain't pretty and it ain't perfect but we made it and so will you!!
|photo courtesy of theexecutivebrand.com|