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There are many ways that a mom can make the doctor visit easier for her child with type 1 diabetes.
Almost every parent knows the struggle of getting their child to go for a doctor’s visit. Kids, especially kids with diabetes, don’t like being poked and prodded, they get scared at the thought of needles. It’s even harder when you have a type 1 diabetic child who needs daily testing throughout the day.
It’s important for us moms of kids with type one diabetes to make doctors visits as easy and comfortable as possible, especially if it’s a child whose first doctor visit was just after being recently diagnosed.
Our blog post will give you some tips that help make your kids’ experience more enjoyable so they won’t dread going back!
How do I prepare my child for a doctor’s visit for his/her diabetes?
- Explain in advance why they’re going and what will happen at their appointment. This gives your child time to process what’s happening, which helps him/her feel less stressed when it’s actually time for the appointment.
- Bring something of comfort. Bring something related from home, like a favorite stuffed animal or blanket. These items will help your child feel more comfortable during their examination and blood test.
- Ask if there are any toys available at the Endocrinologist’s office for kids to play with while waiting in the exam room (or even before).
- Lay out a plan for what your child will do while there, like coloring or reading their favorite book – to help them feel less anxious.
- Let them ask any questions they want before or during the appointment.
- Ask permission first! Explain to your child in advance that doctors sometimes need to touch our bodies when examining us. They may also use different equipment like stethoscopes; these are tools doctors use to help figure out medical problems related to diabetes.
- Sharing information. Remind your child that this is a time for him/her to share information with the doctor and not be scared!
- Talk up visiting the medical office beforehand – make sure he/she understand why he/she is there and what’s going to happen.
- Don’t bring too many people with you and your child! It will be crowded in there for one person much less three or four. Keep it simple, mom/dad/immediate caregiver and child with Diabetes.
- Make sure you’re on time for their appointments
- Stay calm and composed when going into the office – this should help keep your child in a relaxed state of mind about being there
First visit with a Pediatric Endocrinologist.
On the first visit, pediatric endocrinologists will typically evaluate your child and ask about their symptoms.
Doctors will also check your child’s blood glucose levels, do an A1c test, and maybe their urine to make sure the diabetes care plan is working well.
The Endocrinologist will review your child’s glucose meter and try to see any trends on how he/she is being affected by the food he/she is consuming in relation to the insulin carb ratio.
During this visit, some insulin adjustments may be made, if the doctor sees that your child is requiring more insulin, after calculating the correct carb ratio when bolusing. The doctor will also see, how the current basal rate is working, and determine if an increase or decrease of basal rate is needed.
How often do they need to come back for monitoring
This varies depending on what kind of tests are done, but it usually ranges between every 3-4 months.
The length of time can depend on how severe their type one diagnosis was when first diagnosed.
When my daughter was recently diagnosed, we had to go into the Endocrinologist office quite often, even 4 weeks, then it was extended to every 8 weeks, and now we are on a regular schedule of every 12 weeks.
Visits usually last about forty-five minutes to an hour and a half depending on:
- how many tests are being done on that visit
- changes in the diabetes treatment plan
- talk about how foods affect blood sugars
- if the child is doing some type of physical activity for better diabetes management
- if your child is on multiple daily injections, possibility about transferring to an insulin pump
- if on a pump, how the insulin pump is working, and if any adjustments are needed
- meal planning for better diabetes control, most likely with a nutritionist
- and questions that can come up during your visit on how to manage your child’s diabetes better and keep sugar levels on its target range
Questions Should You Ask Your Child’s Endocrinologist
The diabetes care team at the pediatrician’s office will evaluate your child to see if their blood sugar is being controlled and determine if they should adjust insulin/medication.
You can also ask for a copy of the doctor’s notes when you pick up prescriptions or call back with questions about adjustments.
The best thing a parent can do right now is to make sure that his/her child is following an appropriate diet, getting enough exercise, and staying on medications as prescribed by their doctors so complications don’t get worse over time!
Some questions that you can ask the Endocrinologist team are:
- How can I better support my child in their diabetes management?
- Is my child’s diabetes well controlled?
- Should I change medications or insulin doses between visits if so?
- What new technology might help me manage his/her care effectively locally until we come into the clinic next month (or what other medication could they use)?
- How will I afford any out-of-pocket costs associated with treatment because insurance may cover some but not all?
- How can I make sure that my child gets the best care possible?
- What complications can my child experience as a result of their diabetes?
- How often does my child need to come into the diabetes clinic and at the pediatrician’s office for visits?
It’s not always easy being a parent to a child with type 1 diabetes. But there are a lot of resources to help you manage their condition.
The Diabetes Care team at your child’s pediatrician office will evaluate if their blood sugar is being controlled and determine whether they should adjust insulin/medication. They are the best source of support that you have in your child’s care.
Remember that doctors are working with children who have diabetes every single day – they know how tough things can get at times!
The Endocrinologist team wants to see both you and your child happy during those checkups. Doctors understand these are not easy conversations and office visits, but they’re important ones too.
Learning how to better manage your child’s diabetes from a medical professional can be daunting. But, armed with the right knowledge and understanding of what will happen during their appointment, you may find that it is not as scary for them.
Remember to bring something comforting like a favorite stuffed animal or blanket to make the visit easier. It also helps to stay calm and composed around your child while asking questions about better ways of managing his/her diabetes and his/her care management so they do not experience severe complications later in life.
We hope this post has given you some ideas on how to make your child’s doctor visits less stressful and more productive.