Back to Parents' Voices Clare Pattison

Working as a Team

At first, we just did everything we were told and called our doctor and nurse to make every decision for us. It was very reassuring to know that they were always there for us. Then after a while, we really gained confidence in making those decisions for ourselves, and just checked with the "pros" for confirmation that what we were doing was right. Now we have reached the stage where we make the decisions based on our own knowledge and experience. We see our doctor at regular clinic visits and call him only every few months when we need help. You could never have convinced me at the beginning that we'd ever feel so confident in dealing with diabetes!

Our doctor always asks us what we think we should do in any given situation. I hated that at first. It was a little intimidating telling the doctor what we should do, kind of like talking back to a teacher! But it really nudged us to think for ourselves and start making decisions. We soon realized that we are equal partners with the doctor in our daughter's diabetes care. No one knows her better than we do.

Our child was hospitalized for two days about six months after her diagnosis because of illness. I was so much more at ease in the hospital this time around. To make things as easy for her as we could, we brought all our own testing equipment from home, and I did all her tests and injections just as I would have at home. She was more relaxed, I knew she was getting just what she needed, and the nursing staff only had to look after her IV. I also made myself right at home and found her appropriate snacks in the ward fridge when the kitchen was late sending them up, and spoke up when any doctor other than ours was making any decisions about her treatment. Assertiveness is a skill that I've really had to develop, but it has taken a lot of the stress out of our daughter's diabetes care when she is in the hospital.

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Last Updated: Wednesday March 16, 2005 16:44:52
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