Tuesday, October 16, 2007

It Contains Everything I Need

As soon as I was diagnosed with my brain tumor, I knew that I was not ready for this diagnosis. I know, no one is ever ready to be told they have a brain tumor... that's not what I mean. I mean that I realized that I was very unorganized when it came to my health and there was a lot of things missing in my paperwork that needed to be completed... just in case. In case you don't know me, I hate to be unprepared for anything.

So the very first thing I did on Monday, after being diagnosed, was go to Walgreens and get a trapper keeper. The biggest one I could find. It's a nice one with a simple velcro closure and plenty of space for things like pens, highlighters, etc.

Now this didn't all appear at once. I have modified the layout of this journal many times but for the most part, here is the current product. There are two different types of tabs. Primary tabs are actual tabs that are meant for a three ring binder. Then I have Secondary tabs, which are movable and are simply a piece of white paper, hole punched, with a tab sticker. It works and it keeps things organized.

So what are my areas? I will give a brief run-down and description and some other time I'll give more details.

Primary 1 - Quick Find Information [Secondary = "To Give To Doctor" (copies of records, updated contact info, etc); Scripts (for bloodwork and tests); Medical Journal; Blog printouts]

Primary 2 - Legal Stuff [Secondary = Documents (Living Will, Power of Attorney, etc.); Document Info (Instructions on legal documents]

Primary 3 - Insurance Records [Secondary = Medical visit record (includes checklist for obtaining records, copays paid, insurance approvals, etc.); "Visits in limbo" (things I'm fighting a doctor or insurance on); Pre-certs

Primary 4 - Medical Records [Secondary = Primary; Specialist; Labs; Radiology]

Primary 5 - Mental Health

Primary 6 - Basic Information [Secondary = My medical history; Doctor Information; Family Medical History]

Primary 7 - Brain Tumor Section [Secondary = Questions; Research]

Primary 8 - MISC Records

Primary 9 - Correspondence (Record of all correspondence between me and doctors)

Primary 10 - Herbal/Alternative

That's it for the most part. All of the records that are created by me, live on a jump drive and are updated and printed each time they are updated. This keeps it easy to fill in the endless questionnaires at doctor's offices, ensures all my information is correct, and keeps me sorted out on dates things occurred. (Although some dates will never be forgotten.) This also allows me to have my "to give to doctor" section and print off things that are of concern to them instead of having to relay it all. I know multiple doctors have loved my questions because they are all printed and we can both be reading them together.

I don't know if this will help anyone but I hope it gives some ideas on creating your own medical journal.

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