This morning I have my first Endo appointment of the year. This is the first appointment that begins my “have an appointment every 6 weeks” regime. As I was thinking about this appointment this morning , it dawned on me that I had no idea what to discuss. This is very different from the very old me that used to go in and just listen to what they had to say, roll my eyes at what they said I had to do, and then leave and do nothing resulting in very poor care and self management and a very high A1c.
The not so old me (but not quite the present me) was going in with very particular things that needed to be discussed and resolved.
This brings me to a quote that I recently saw:
“A problem well-stated is a problem half-solved.” Charles F. Kettering
This quote makes me think about goals and how they are supposed to be smart (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Sensitive). To go in and say that my A1c is high (or higher than I want it) doesn’t get me anywhere, it’s a fact, it’s a fact that is a problem. But putting that fact out there doesn’t help us solve it (in most cases it makes us cringe and think about how poorly we’re doing).
To go to the doctor and say, “this is why my A1c is high, and this is what I think can help it, what do you think” is a problem well stated. It’s well stated because we’ve acknowledged what the cause is, we’ve accepted it, we’ve thrown out a possible solution (that can be improved upon) and therefore the problem is half solved. Solving the other half is the hard part because it requires work on our part, maybe a some accountability from the doctor, but mostly it’s all up to us.
It wasn’t until mid 2008 that I started going to my doctor with specific questions and specific problems that started guiding our conversations and I started getting results. It’s one thing that I’ve had to tell my friends who are newly diagnosed or have children that are newly diagnosed because they were coming out of their doctor appointments with no solutions to their problems but they also weren’t articulating their problems to the doctor. We have the ability to walk into an appointments empowered instead of the as the underdog. We just have to know what we want and where our trouble spots are, that will guide the conversation into a place where problems can start being solved. A place where we can get the quirky to go away and merge into something that flows smoothly with us and gets us into a happy place. A place where we have control and we just need a little guidance to get there.
Walking into a doctor’s appointment with a well stated problem makes the doctor more like Jiminy Cricket (a gentle voice guiding us in the right direction) and less like Stomboli (the mean puppet master that wants us to do various things but has no control over us because we have no strings).