I realize that not everyone has all that much to write about or collect pertaining to their medical health, but there are some of us that do. Those that don’t can still create a smaller scale version of this and consider the process of Journaling their health, whether it’s bad health or good health. It can be as simple or as detailed and thorough as you desire. I purchased an accordion file, with an elastic band closure, to ensure items don’t slip out, accordion files are a little wobbly when set upright. Some of the Sections that I chose to include are:
- info gathered on my issues
- Personal Medical Diary or Journal: just a simple spiral notebook (this is sectioned as well, a quick write-up about what the doctor said pre-appt & post-appt, suggestions the doctor made, what the prescriptions were prescribed to me for, private notes are was I satisfied with this doctor or this report, followup, etc.)
I like the idea of having all of my info at my fingertips and ready to go on a dime. Sometimes I bring a miniature version of my main folder to my appts. If you end up doing this too, remember, when you when leave you are finished with your appointment, always ask for a print out or copy of the doctor’s/R.N.’s notes, the tests that were performed, and/or a CD of the imaging done/including the report. Chances are, they won’t have anything ready for you except possibly the doctor’s write up of your appt. But it’s more efficient to request it all immediately following your appt., before you leave. And if items are not available to you at that moment, you can request them all to be mailed to you or arrange to pick them up later.
I can’t stress how important it is to do this before you leave the office–it’s fresh on your/their minds so receptionists are quick to put it on their list (or will make copies before refiling your folder, instead of having to take the time to pull your folder later), and costs are minimal–if any. Forgetting to do this–leaving, and calling back later, for me anyway, just doubles
my work. When I’ve ended up doing this later, via phone, it usually will incur some sort of charges, and there has always been a wait for the items to be located, then shipped to you. Whereas in the office, speaking from my experiences, I’ve never had to pay for copies, and I have the documents in hand immediately. Also, when I’ve called offices later to request items from my files, I usually have had to wait on hold, the receptionist would go back to the Dr./R.N. and go on a little bit of a goose chase while waiting for them to finish up with a patient before the receptionist can even ask them to recall the appt./conversation, retrieve papers, etc. Had I just gotten that info before I left, on the front end, it would have been so much easier and efficient–all of my info was at hand and very easy to gather.
Once you begin practicing this after each appt., you’ll actually make a pretty quick routine of it. Also, during future appts., the receptionists seem to quickly “know the drill” and it happens pretty smoothly.
If your medical facilities provide records online, I recommend saving ALL of them to your computer, and also print them out and file them in a different folder–one that you won’t need to carry around. I’ve been spared from so many headaches and frustrations by carrying my file with me to appts. I have a separate folder that I have prepared to bring with me to appts. I bring this in case tests didn’t get sent over in time, or if I’ve forgotten to request tests to be sent prior to my appt. This frustration alone was motivation enough for me to make the carry-to appt. folder so that my time won’t be wasted in the Dr.’s office. (Only carry copies in this take-to-your-appointment folder, do not carry originals)
**BE CAREFUL NOT TO LEAVE YOUR FOLDER ANYWHERE. CHECK TO MAKE SURE THAT YOUR VERY PERSONAL INFO IS NOT CONTAINED ANYWHERE IN THE FOLDER. I’m not sure how to hide my info on the CDs yet. Ideas are welcome!