I know I haven’t posted in a long time and quite honestly it may be a long time before I post again. The reason behind this post is that I believe that we are responsible for passing along valuable information, or at least information that we find to be valuable. So I write this in case someone, somewhere needs this information. Likely, I just write for myself but still……
On a personal note. Those of you who know me are aware that my daughter Peekaboo has been needing some medical interventions lately. The last year or so I have been engaged in these interventions. They have introduced a dramatic learning curve to me titled “How to admit your child to a hospital or institution with as little stress as possible”. I have become somewhat of a profession on filling out paperwork on my kiddo. My first times doing it I was emotional, the paperwork was filled with blanks that I had to fill in later or call my hubby or others for the info but as time has progressed I have come up with some ways to facilitate the institutions needs while decreasing my stress while doing something inherently tremendously stressful. It occurs to me that what I’ve learned can be useful for other parents with children who are medically in a fragile situation and it’s also useful for our own use as we age and go through our own transitions…..
So, here’s what I’m talking about.
In a previous post I taught about my home notebook, specifically Peekaboo’s notebook. A 3 ring binder I have used for several years to keep track of all of the paperwork that is generated in my child’s life. Well this BINDER has become my lifeline, along with becoming a much larger notebook. It’s now bursting at the seems in a 3″ three ring binder. I need to clean it out.
For Reference, here are some of the things it contains. It has an individual plastic packets with the name of each hospital or significant intervention. Keeping the information all together also allows me to file the entire folder or put it into my safe if necessary, at a later date. I also scan and keep copies of anything I have signed.
In it are all of the contact information that we are given about each doctor, treatment, discharge papers, etc. I also always have a list (in my I-Pod touch as well as in the notebook) of all of the addresses, phone numbers, fax numbers etc. associated with each doctor, institution, educational program, etc. I also keep a list of all medications, current and past with their dosages, doctor who prescribed, and any pertinent information such as it not working, or being used briefly- even prescription medications such as anti-biotics are included. I also always have an up to date copy of her immunizations, multiple copies (whenever we leave a doctor’s office after getting immunizations I ALWAYS ask for a copy of the updated records). I also have a section specifically for her prescriptions. Whenever I get a prescription filled or re-filled it always comes with all of the warnings for side effects, etc. I keep a copy of those in my folders with a note at the top of the dosages, etc…. I keep them in case my daughter has an adverse reaction (as she HAS frequently had) so that I can quickly look it up and see if whatever she is experiencing is on the list and if it is, I contact her doctor. Also in my folder I keep pictures of my daughter. I sometimes attach them to packets or paper work so that those who handle the paperwork are reminded that she is not just a case, she is a supremely valued daughter and individual.
If you would like to make a similar notebook here is my suggested list:
3 ring notebook
- physical health
- mental health
- education etc.
a plastic pocket for each treatment, program or center
- such as an IEP or other educational programs or interventions (including detentions, suspensions, etc.)
phone, address, fax info for each doctor who is or has treated
phone, address, fax info for each institution
section for medications & prescriptions
- dosages of all meds
- name & contact info for all prescribing doctors
- phone number of pharmacy
- notes on whether medications work
- prescription info from the manufacturer
up to date immunizations
photo of your child (optional)
In addition to all of this I recently followed a friend’s advice and wrote up a timeline of significant events for my daughter, specifically medically. I use it as I’m checking her in to give exact dates and info and then I hand a copy usually to the supervising person (in my daughter’s case the psychologist in charge). The kind of information included starts with birth (birth weight and length, was it full term?), any significant events that show difficulties developing (in our case I don’t have that since she’s adopted but I do have some mental health info on Bio Mom, so I include that). After that include any information that may be pertinent to your child”s health, in my child’s case that includes several different documented issues, and medications along with their dosages and reactions (in my child’s cases largely negative), hospitalizations and dealings with institutions including dates, length of stay, etc. try to be specific and detailed but not overly long. I’ve done this often enough that I know what questions they’re going to ask. My daughter’s biography is 4 pages long. I add to it periodically.
So, I don’t know that anyone will find it useful but I feel cleansed having shared it.