By Martha Funnell, MS, RN, CDE
If you want to build a new house, you could ask an expert to create one that is very sound. But it might not have what you need. Maybe you want everything on one floor or you want a kitchen of a certain size. But, if you partner with the builder and help make the plan, you are more likely to end up with just the house you want. Your house would reflect both your needs and what the expert knows about safe structures, lighting and plumbing. The same is true with your diabetes.
Because diabetes affects so much of your life and health, it helps to work with a provider to build your dream diabetes care plan.
DIABETES AND OTHER ILLNESSES
Diabetes differs from other illnesses in many ways. For example, you make many decisions throughout the day that affect how you feel today and may feel in the future. You need to manage your diabetes actively, and this may mean making changes in your daily habits and lifestyle. These differences also may affect how you work with your health care team. If you create a partnership with your providers, you can work together and build a diabetes plan that will provide a sound foundation for your health and your life.
PARTNER WITH YOUR HEALTH CARE PROVIDER
Partners work together to reach goals. In diabetes, your provider can offer you sound advice about how to treat diabetes. But it is up to you to tell him or her what you need to manage your diabetes, what problems you face and what you are willing and able
A key to creating a partnership is respect. You need to respect the knowledge your provider has about diabetes and its care. At the same time, your provider needs to respect you as a person and what you know about yourself, your values, culture and goals.
By giving respect, health care givers show us they care. Respect also creates trust. Studies show that people who trust their providers’ advice tend to have better outcomes. When people do not trust their health care providers, they have a harder time taking their advice.