Unplanned Ouchie: Beginnings of a Project Page | Giftie Etcetera: Unplanned Ouchie: Beginnings of a Project Page

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Unplanned Ouchie: Beginnings of a Project Page

I broke a toe.

This, obviously, creates an opportunity to share how I use my planner for medical stuff. I have lots of medical issues, but in the interest of maintaining my privacy, I rarely blog about them. A broken toe, however, is fair game, right?

(Walking. I broke it walking. In the kitchen. In a straight line. Slowly.)

(Go ahead, laugh. Karma will get you! You'll probably spill hot tea on your planner now. I don't wish that tragedy on you, but you laughed at an injured chick!)

(Okay, it was kind of funny, except for the shattering bone part. A giggle would be acceptable. :))

How I use my planner for medical stuff...

*Medical appointments go on monthly pages.

I like to keep things consistent. If all appointments go on monthly pages with the rest of the timed events in my life, I don't accidentally double book or miss events.

*Annual appointments are circled and recopied onto future pages.

By circling repeating appointments, such as my annual exam by my asthma doctor, I make sure that I schedule them again next year as each appointment is completed. Oh, and by having future pages in my planner (after my monthly calendar ends), I have a place to write "Feb. 2015 - make lung doc appt" and circle it, so I remember to make the same appointment each year.

*Use weekly spreads for medical tasks.

Refilling meds once a month? Circled task in my weekly spreads. Need to put away the crutches (yes, I own crutches and a cane in my 30s)? Task on weekly pages.

*Use a planner for everything else.

The pain meds for the broken toe combined with the icing of the toe and the elevation of the toe mean that a lot of my normal stuff had to be rescheduled (my actual JOB, for example). I could do that easily because I have a system in place. Non-essential tasks got moved to two weeks away since I'll need to double up at work next week to make up for this week of slacking. (Recovering isn't truly slacking, right?)

*Use dashboard for taking notes.

Since I have blank paper (with computer-printed grid on the BACK of the page so it creates faint structure) in my dashboard and my pen in my planner, I can take notes easily at the doctor's office.

Some notes on my notes:

-I put the box on the upper right hand corner for ease of filing.

-The date goes under the box. This is important for filing. I file by subject matter in the box first, then put more recent stuff at the front of the file/planner section. I pretty much put the box on anything that I am filing. If it is an original document that can't be written on, I create "the box" with a sticky note.

-I noted the time and location of the appointment. Also, since insurance only covers if the place is listed on our health insurance's "approved" doctor list on the day of the appointment, I make a notation that we checked in network coverage that day.

-I use a wavy line to indicate new information. In this case, that means the actual doctor's diagnosis.

-Tasks and events get a circle in front of them so that I remember to process them into my planner. Normally, I write things directly on the correct page, such as on my weekly spread. Only notes and such go on the blank page. But during a meeting or, in this case, a conversation with the doctor, one leg up on the bench, it's hard to turn planner pages.

-Finally, I am keeping a log of my pain meds and symptoms. That way, I don't accidentally overdose! I used a wavy line to separate my log from the rest of the page.

*File paper in Projects while active, in Notes once inactive but needed for reference, and in file cabinet at home if it's worth keeping.

Meds is a new project for me, because I am actively tracking the pain meds. Once healed, though, this will probably go in the Notes section of my planner (other people use ABC Files) for a few months, while I make sure that I am fully healed. After that, because I tend to have a complicated medical history, this will go in my file cabinet at home. But, for most people, this can go in the trash once treatment is over.

I decide where it goes by deciding if it is currently an active project. Tracking pain meds, blood sugars, or calorie intake is active. Seeing specialists while trying to solve a medical issue is an active project. Active projects go in my Projects section, near the front of my planner.

Notes (ABC Files, for some other plannerds) already holds a "Med" section for me. In it, I keep a list of diagnoses (such as high blood pressure or asthma), a list of past surgeries, a list of allergies, and a list of current medications and dosages. Those are the things that nurses look for during intake. I also keep notes about current conditions for reference. If I update a page, I move that page to the top of the Meds pages. That way, less frequent pages tend to work their way to the back of that section, until I toss them or file them in my file cabinet.

The reason that this note about the toe is a Project is because I am still actively USING it (to track my symptoms and medication log). Once that is no longer the case, it is NO LONGER a project.

I hope this gives some of you ideas for using your planner to track medical issues, and helps all of you determine where information and papers should be stored in your planner.

Please excuse any typos. I usually proofread and have friends who let me know about typos, but with pain meds and lack of sleep making my brain fuzzy, well, I'll probably read this tomorrow and wince more than I did when I kicked the island in the kitchen. (That was sweet of you to wince along with me this time, instead of laughing. That's why I love you. Here's a present.)



Christine Cortese said...

Yowchie, sorry about the toe. But thanks for turning your pain into our gain! I did love the elucidation of factors differentiating projects from notes. Am setting up my household classic binder with projects and notes. Pretty soon I'll be carrying it! Pretty soon it will be in a compact! This was very helpful for me. Have a sweet pink cloud sleep tonight (yes pain meds can be a bit of fun when you drift away).

Anna said...

Sorry about the toe! That's the way I would injure myself. My last injury major enough to curtail my activities was a badly sprained wrist, and that one wasn't my fault. (Bicycle vs motorcycle making illegal u-turn without looking.) It does make you stop and think about what you do every day, and what your priorities are. I have enough trouble remembering stuff on a day to day basis. it helps to have things written down, when your brain is not working as clearly! It's also extra helpful to have routines that the whole family knows to follow in times like that. :)

A Creative Operation said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your toe! I broke mine 2 weeks ago. I missed the last step on my deck and went down like a ton of bricks. I spent a couple of days on the couch, foot up, working on my planner too! I made some personal week pages, figuring out (finally) how to add a grid to the pages. I love you post, thanks for sharing, and get well soon!