Doctor, Doctor - Organizing My Medicals | Giftie Etcetera: Doctor, Doctor - Organizing My Medicals

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Doctor, Doctor - Organizing My Medicals

Taking care of my extensive medical details, from appointments to follow-ups to filling scripts to actually taking my darn meds, takes up a lot of my day. I have extensive meds-related issues and two young kids (with their own check-ups and colds and FREAKIN' ALLERGIES TO CORN AND SHOE LEATHER AND ZYTHROMAX), making keeping up with all I have to do and remember for our healthcare a major undertaking.

One thing I do is put reminders to make doctors' appointments on my planner's calendar. For yearly checkups, I write the task (Sched Dr. Whoever - 555-5555) with a circle around it in the month where I want to schedule the appointment. The circle means that it is a repeating task, so once I schedule my 6 year old's appointment, I write the same thing in the same month next year (and circle it ;)). My calendar doesn't go into 2013, of course, but I have a Future page divided into 13 parts (each month of next year and 2014+) to write things on that will happen in 2013 and beyond.

I also have a contacts page with all doctors' name, speciality, address, and phone number in my contacts. I don't keep many contacts in my planner (since most can just be loaded into my phone or kept in an easy-to-update Word document more conveniently), but I do keep household help (e.g., housekeeper back when I had one {weeps} or lawn service) and medical contacts, as well as some take-out restaurant contacts, as those are contacts that usually aren't in my phone and I need outside of the house a lot.

In the File part of my planner, I have a straight-up medical log. When I schedule an appointment, I put the doctor's name and speciality on the top right corner of the page, along with the date of the appointment. I jot the meds I am currently taking (they change often enough to merit checking the list before each appointment) and a list of complaints that I have for the doctor. Then I draw a line across the page. Under the line, I write actual notes of the doctor's answers and instructions. Yes, it's a little weird to pull out my planner during a doctor's appointment. But the doctor's seem to like it, even stressing "write this down" for important instructions. I think they know I'm going to take their advice seriously, and for people who actually care about your health, that's a big deal.

Keeping up with taking my meds is more difficult. I used to keep taking meds on my Daily Checklist, along with things like "do a 15 minute quick clean" and "exercise," but even if I do nothing else in a given day, I have to take my heart medicine. If I never step foot in my house, I need to take my asthma meds. So I had to deal with medications differently, as my Daily Checklist is more a guideline than a MUST DO list.

Daily Checklist
One a week, I put my daily meds into a weekly meds container. I don't need a reminder in my planner to do this, as the weekly container is used daily and sits next to my bed on my nightstand. I have an alarm set on my phone to remind me that if I haven't taken my meds by 9:15 p.m., I need to take them. Once a week, when I refill the weekly container, I write any meds I need refills of on my Errands list so I can pick them up at Target during the week. I also read the bottles to make sure I have refills available and, if I don't, schedule a doctor's appointment. It's a good way to double check that I don't miss a check-up.

My Packing Lists (all versions - the master list, the one for camping, the one for hotels, etc.) all include Meds as an item, so that I remember to pack them if I travel.

For unusual meds (like the four times a day antibiotic I am taking now), I keep the Rx bottle next to my cell phone. I see my cell phone a lot everyday, so it helps me remember to take them. Then, I mark the dates that I need to take them on the bottle in a sharpie markers, and check off when I take them each time. Today's (4 times a day for 7 days) looks like this:

April 25 x x 1 2 
         26 1 
May 1 
         2 x x

Finally, I try to only use on pharmacy and it's at a place where I frequently grocery shop, so it's not too inconvenient.

Let me know if you have any tips for keeping your medical stuff organized.


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