Anyone who has had a family member with health issues, knows how important it is to keep track of prescriptions and appointments and symptoms for that person.
My brother was diagnosed with diabetes the same week that I was born, a few months shy of his 2nd birthday. Over the last several years he has experienced numerous complications including becoming legally blind, kidney failure, amputations, etc.
While my mom is his primary caretaker, I have witnessed the need to keep track of appointments and specialists, medications, and symptoms.
When my daughter Hailey was just 6 days old, she was diagnosed with hypothyroidism and was immediately prescribed Synthroid. Over the last 2.5 year she has had numerous endocrinologist appointments, so many prescription changes, and we had to battle to keep her on the name brand instead of the generic prescription as the generic just didn’t seem to work as well for her.
Because of these experiences, I know how important it is to have a place to keep track of all the medical information for the people you care for. I therefore created a medical binder that allows me to keep track of the important medical information for my little girl.
Here’s how you can create one for any person you are the caretaker for. You can even use it for yourself for creating a personal health record.
The first page of the binder contains the basic information for the person. This includes name, date of birth, SSN, weight, height, blood type, diagnosis(es), allergies, all doctors with their phone number and addresses and the insurance information.
Since Hailey is 2.5 and always growing, the height and weight may not always be 100% accurate. I like to update the page after a doctor’s appointment where she was measured and I just note the date of the measurements.
This gives you a quick view of the basic information to provide doctors or when you need to reach out to a doctor.
In Case of an Emergency
So far we have never experienced a thyroid emergency with Hails. However, my brother has had several emergencies where his blood sugar has dropped too low. This page is a chance to write out the steps someone should take in case of an emergency.
This is perfect for one someone else is watching your loved one. But, it can also be useful for you too. Sometimes even when we know what to do, in the midst of an emergency, we can get frazzled and forget. This gives you a reference so you know that you haven’t missed anything.
This is a place to record any medications the person is taking, the dosage, the frequency, for how long and any notes. There is also a place to record any surgeries including date, doctor, location, and notes. Finally, you can also record any illnesses/diagnosis, the date diagnosed, the doctor and any notes.
On the next page, I include a basic family history. I have each family member on each side of the family with their birth date, any known illnesses or conditions, and then if they are dead, their age and cause of death.
Next up is a page for each doctor’s visit. You list the name, age, weight, height, and purpose of the visit. If it is a visit because the person is sick, you can list symptoms, the duration of the symptoms, any pain, and changes they have experienced, and their current medications.
There is also a section for notes. This can be used to write questions you have for the doctor or write down information the doctor provides at the appointment.
Next up is a page for medical contacts. This is not so much for doctors, but for other medical people. For someone like my brother this would include his home health aide, his contact for his prosthetic leg, and his glasses company.
Here is where you can log the information for any specialists/doctors that the person visits. For Hailey, its basically her endocrinologist. You can also track the specialist appointments and whether there is a need to follow up.
Here is where you can list any incidents the person experiences. If its your kids you might list them falling off a swing, a bout of throwing up, or jamming their finger.
Sometimes these things turn out to be nothing. Others, things that seemed minor can escalate. When you have a record of when things happen its easier to provide the information if you need to.
Here is where you can keep a running list of the prescriptions a person is taking. If the person is taking a variety of prescriptions, they can all be listed here. If the dosage of a prescription changes (this happens a lot with Hailey) you can write a new line for the prescription and then mark the prior prescription to show they are no longer taking that.
I like to highlight old prescriptions in red. This shows me that they are no longer taking it, but I can still see the values in case I need to refer back to what she was previously taking.
Well Check Ups Log
This page is useful for everybody whether they have health issues or not. It’s a log of each appointment including the age, date, height, weight, and nay notes. I also include a vaccination history for each child on this page.
While on the doctor’s visit page you can list one or 2 symptoms you have noticed between visits, you may not be able to list everything. This log is purely for symptoms tracking. You can list the symptom, when it occurred, how long it lasted, and if it appeared to be associated with any food or medicine or activity.
This is a great way to present symptoms to a doctor. It can also be a great way to track things like food sensitivities. For example, if you notice that the baby seems to be fussy every time you feed her peas, she may not be able to digest those just yet.
This is another page that is useful for everyone in the family, that means you too mom and dad. Its simply a log of each visit, what was done and if there is any follow up needed.
The final pages of my binder are for medical release. These are for occasions when you are not around and someone else is watching your kids. For example, lets say you and your spouse go away for the weekend and your mom is watching the kids.
One of your kids launches themselves off the park swing and breaks their arm. Mom tries to reach you but you shut off your phone to fully indulge in a spa treatment. A medical release allows the doctor to treat your child in an emergency which, in the opinion of the attending physician, may endanger his/her life, cause disfigurement, physical impairment, or undue discomfort if delayed.
I hope that you find this helpful in order to create your own Medical Binder to keep track of the medical needs for you and your family. If on the other hand, this seems like way too much work, don’t worry! Since I made this binder for myself, I thought it might be helpful for other moms and caretakers as well.
So, you can purchase my exact binder from my Etsy shop. It is printable, so you can just print out as many copies of each page as you need. You can also type into the pages using Adobe Reader and then print it out that way. Whatever works best for you!
It is so important to be an advocate for the medical care of the ones we love. Even the best doctors have to care for numerous patients. When you are on top of your loved ones’ medical needs you are a huge help to not only you loved one but the doctor too!
I hope you incorporate this into your family. Let me know in the comments if there is someone whom you care for and are responsible for keeping track of their medication.