All of the appointments should be attended as each provide a useful insight into the condition of the body. *This is from my experience in Warwickshire and Oxfordshire, please note that this can vary from county to county or country to country*
As a newly diagnosed diabetic, and actually at any stage, having diabetes is so over whelming. There is so much new information to deal with and take on board, understand how to live this new way of life and so much more! Following on from my Information Pack for Newly Diagnosed Diabetics, I thought I’d write a post about all the additional appointments that we need after being diagnosed with diabetes.
These appointments will vary depending on a number of factors including your general wellbeing, at the minute these appointments for me are on a 4-month cycle but at one point I was having monthly appointments.
- When diagnosed you will be asked to attend the hospital clinic. I strongly advise that you take up this offer as hospital clinic care is miles in-front of any GP diabetic care. This is just to do the additional knowledge and technicalities the hospital staff have to have, I am not slighting the GP’s here at all because they do a brilliant job, my GP always likes an update from me but has always recommend my main diabetic care is held at the hospital. Where the hospital clinics manage diabetics on a daily basis, they just have a much stronger understanding of actions needed.
- Blood tests. Unfortunately, you will be required to have at least one blood test a year at a minimum. I am having blood tests every couple of months. As much as I hate these blood tests, I have a much better understanding of what is going on inside of my body and if any damage has/is occurring form high blood sugars.
- Urine tests. These will most likely be done at the same time as the blood test, but the key information taken is how much protein and glucose is found in our urine. As a diabetic, we are at a much higher risk of developing a UTI so having frequent tests can identify an infection even at the start.
Now this is where appointments can feel like they just start to stack up against you! All of my appointments seem to fall together in the winter, which can be difficult with work!
- Diabetic Eye Screening. This is done once a year and they can insert Minims Tropicamide 1.0% eye drops into your eyes to help enlarge the pupil for a couple of hours so the technician taking the images can have a clear view of the retina through the lens. I have to say it does sting when you blink the drops around your eye and it does affect your vision for a couple of hours – personally I get bad headaches/migraines from increased light absorption but I am prone to them anyway! It is vital that you have your eyes checked yearly as early indication of any damage from high blood sugars or a lengthy time of having diabetes can be key at ensuring it does not worsen.
- Foot Check. This will happen at the doctor’s surgery by one of the nurses. This really tickles! As diabetics we are prone to damaging our nervous system through high blood sugar so this checks that we can still feel the soles of our feet. It’s to ensure that if you had any damage to your feet, such as stepping on a pin, that you would notice so infections do not build up and cause us to be unwell.
- Medication Reviews. Now this one is peculiar. About once a year we will have a medication review to make sure we still need insulin. I know what you are thinking, how stupid, type 1 diabetes does not ever go away so our need for insulin will not either! But I suppose it is there to remove any excess prescriptions off our lists but still, infuriating!
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