Self-Care Is Every Bit As Important As Clinical Care
3 reasons why your doctor can't be responsible for your whole diabetes management plan.
How much time do you spend with your doctor per year? If your experience aligns with national averages, you spend about 15 minutes  with your doctor. If you see your doctor quarterly, or even just semi-annually, that's about 30 to 60 minutes in a clinical setting. That leaves over 525,500 minutes on your own. Your self-care is the majority of your diabetes journey.
Doctors are a key member of a proper healthcare team, and rightfully so. Doctors are here to help. They have a wealth of knowledge (especially a specialist, like an endocrinologist for diabetes), are very well educated on how our bodies work, and can diagnose and treat diseases such as diabetes. Without doctors, people with diabetes couldn't expect to live long. But, here's why your doctor can't be responsible for your whole diabetes management plan.
Doctors don't know everything
If you see a primary care physician for your diabetes, chances are she is also working with thousands of other patients with various health conditions throughout the year. There's no way for one person to be up to date with all the latest information and technology for every condition, especially when it comes to a condition as complex as diabetes. We are constantly learning new things about diabetes through research and clinical trials, not to mention the speed of diabetes technology development. It is up to us, the patients, to be informed and talk to our doctors about treatments that interest us.
Doctors don't know how diabetes feels to you
Diabetes affects our bodies from head to toe. While your doctor may know the physiology of diabetes, he can't know how it feels to you. He knows how to treat the effects, but not how those treatments impact an individual's mental health, a crucial yet under-treated part of diabetes health.
Doctors don't hover over you
When you are not sitting with your doctor you are living your life, making several decisions per day independent of the doctor's orders when you eat, sleep, exercise, or medicate. It is up to you to keep diabetes in mind and learn how to do what is best for your own health and happiness. Doctors have your best interest in mind. They equip you with their knowledge and the tools to help along the way. When you use those tools, do your own research and become an informed patient, you set yourself up for successful diabetes management.
Your meter is one of the most important tools you have. Don't settle into just checking your blood sugar for your doctor. Checking your blood sugar more frequently can help you better understand your diabetes. Learn how to use your numbers to your advantage.
Need more test strips? We've got you covered.
About Chris Clement:
Chris Clement (Clem) is social media and customer experience manager at Diathrive. He has lived with type 1 diabetes since 1997.
 Health Services Research: Time Allocation in Primary Care Office Visits. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2254573/