Kaitlyn is the only person I know who loves to go to the doctor. When I tell her that we get to go to the hospital where her endocrinologist is, she squeals with delight and gets an enormous smile on her face. You would think I was telling her we were going to Disneyland®! I'm not sure of all the reasons why she has such a positive attitude toward her quarterly doctor visits, but I'm so very grateful that she does!
Kaitlyn's doctor works in the hospital that we went to when she was first diagnosed. It's way down in the city -- at least an hour's drive away. I have often thought about changing to a new doctor in a closer location, but I can't bring myself to do it. Kaitlyn loves her doctor. I love her doctor. The whole experience is pleasant. I don't want to lose that!
Here are some reasons we love Kaitlyn's doctor, the facility and her whole diabetes team.
The hospital is super kid-friendly. Kaitlyn loves going to the children's hospital where her endocrinologist works because it's colorful and decorated with children's themes everywhere. She especially loves the fish tank and the animal-themed elevators.
Our doctor knows her stuff. The most important reason we love her doctor is that she's a really good doctor! She's so good at what she does. The adjustments she makes and the advice she gives us is spot-on, and Kaitlyn's numbers are some evidence of that.
She's supportive of our decisions. When we were looking into transitioning to a pump, the doctor was supportive and did everything she could to make it happen quickly for us. She's also willing to draft school orders that fit what will work best for Kaitlyn in the public school environment.
She's understanding and kind. Kaitlyn's doctor is so sweet. She's always happy to see us and cares about how Kaitlyn is doing and what's going on in her life. She also takes time to listen and doesn't give the appearance of being too rushed to answer questions. It makes the visits so pleasant.
The office is organized. We get through each portion of our visit quickly and efficiently. Kaitlyn is weighed and measured by one nurse, then sent over to get her A1C test done. After that, we're sent to the patient room where our doctor's assistant meets with us briefly. The doctor and her assistant carefully go through Kaitlyn's recent numbers and collaborate about any necessary dosage adjustments. Then they help make any necessary adjustments on her pump, answer any questions that we might have and give us any required prescriptions. Next we meet with the diabetes educators if we need any school order changes or have further concerns.
The results are quick. At every appointment, we get her A1C test done and get the results back within minutes.
The diabetes education team is top-notch. When Kaitlyn was first diagnosed, we went through some intensive training on how to take care of a child with type 1. We were assigned a case manager who helped us every step of the way. We were in contact with her every single day at first and then less frequently as time went on. I still appreciate being able to call our case manager to get help making routine adjustments or dealing with any other concerns.
The office has a diabetes hotline. This one is a lifesaver! Luckily, we have never had to take Kaitlyn to the emergency room, but there have been some close calls… times when we were dealing with low blood sugar numbers that just didn't want to come up, and times when she had some stubborn ketones that didn't want to go away. In each case, I have been so grateful that I can call the hotline at any time of the day or night.
It may take you a while, but ask around, do your homework, and look very carefully for a pediatric endocrinologist! It is worth the time and effort.
About the author: My name is Kim. My daughter Kaitlyn (the third of our five children) was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes just a few years after my nephew James was diagnosed with the same disease. I'm excited to pair up with my sister-in-law, Jen, to share our story with you!
Disclaimer: The experiences and suggestions recounted in these articles are not intended as medical advice, and they are not necessarily the "typical" experiences of families with a child who has type 1 diabetes. These situations are unique to the families depicted. Families should check with their healthcare professionals regarding the treatment of type 1 diabetes and the frequency of blood glucose monitoring. Jen and Kim are real moms of kids with type 1 diabetes and have been compensated for their contributions to this site.
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