There are many mundane events that occur in life that people with type 1 diabetes have to be slightly more attentive to than others who do not have to deal with the disease. Driving, exercise, sickness and eating meals out are just some of regular activities that require some varying degrees of extra attention. Another item near the very top of that list is moving.
During the past year, I was working under contract for a university that was located in a city more than 600 miles away. Although I was permitted to work from my office in my home, frequent short travel and some extended stays were required in the host city to attend meetings, go through training, etc. In terms of diabetes management and care, this proved to be more of a challenge than I had anticipated. Read on for tips for moving when you have diabetes.
Tony knows first-hand how stressful moving can be, but being prepared, especially on the diabetes front, can make the process much less painful.
Taking Care of Diabetes Business
First and foremost, before anything else, use the resources and systems that are already in place to fulfill all prescriptions. When you leave to head to the new location, this will buy some time to establish a way to re-supply.
Check in with your doctors and let them know your plans. I told my Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE), endocrinologist and primary care physician (PCP) the details of my impending travel and living arrangements. This gave them a heads up and would make them less surprised if a clinic or other care center called for transcripts, or if I needed a prescription sent to a pharmacy in some distant city.
More information sharing is always better and helps to build a safety net as the work of building a new set of connections begins. Use the network you have in place to set yourself up for success as your geography changes.
Finding New Diabetes Experts
Before leaving to head out on your adventure to your new zip code, begin searching for a primary care physician and an endocrinologist and/or diabetes care practice. I started by searching the web for places and individuals with high reviews in that area, and asking questions. Lots of questions. I used social media resources and my current medical providers to find "leads" or suggestions. You would be surprised at how small a circle endocrinology really is – it’s possible to learn a few inside stories about docs in their "early years." Odds are, unless moving to a very remote location, existing contacts will be able to offer suggestions to get started with.
Once a list of new medical care providers was established, I began narrowing it down by calling to be sure they were taking new patients and accepted my current insurance. Find a couple of docs and care centers, and make an appointment right away. It doesn't matter if it's not time for an appointment or if an A1C check was done just a few weeks ago. Stop in and say "Hi." Inform the staff of the situation and open a dialogue between the new care providers and those who previously tended to your diabetes care.
Just as an additional note, the doctor that you first contact and visit in your new location won’t necessarily be your final choice. I have had 17 endocrinologists in my 38 years with diabetes and was primarily concerned with finding someone right off the bat that could simply do the basics when arriving in my new temporary location. Finding a good personality, experience and specific expertise fit can always come later.
Check out Part 2 later this week for more tips on making sure you’re prepared to move to a new home when you have diabetes.