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Medical Record and tests

Guest Finrussak

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Guest Finrussak

Hi All,

I have been noticing a lot of posts about repeat tests and results and having different doctors looking at different results etc. What helped me out of this jungle of unnecessary repeat tests and of Drs seeing the partial picture or just what's within their comfort zone was this:

1. Always getting copies of medical tests...bloods, imaging, TTT etc. to keep in my own file at home.

2. Always getting copies of imaging studies.

3. Taking this large file and the appropriate films to the consult!!! While it may not be necessary to take brain MRIs to the GI guy, you never know what another pair of eyes will catch and there is so many interrelated conditions and symptoms. By now after 15 years of this I have so many films and files that I leave them in the car, carry a list of what I have, and show it to a new Dr. Then I send my husband or friend out to the car to get what films he calls for. I always update each specialist with test results copies for their files.Even from other Drs.

Also, I make a habit of asking for copies of hospital records after every stay...itll take a few weeks for them to transcribe and then copy. It may cost but its worth the 10-20$ charge!!! I do have to specify the kinds of records I want though. Like chart notes, tests done etc....consults...whatever

I also keep a 1-2 page summary of the following to always have with me:

-Name, date birth, Soc sec #, insurance info

-current diagnoses ( include pending ones)

-current meds/dosages and supplements/ special diets

-current treating Drs with phone and fax numbers

-Allergies and sensitivities or adverse reactions- I list separately into a DO NOT USE and a use with caution section. If I need small/pediatric doses I write that.

-what tests are recommended and by whom ( i.e. cardiologist requires serum potassium)

-personal emergency contacts and who has permission for medical decisions

I keep 2 extra copies...one to hand to EMTs/paramedics and one to hand to ER intake. ( or even to the nurse at a new Dr appt...saves time on those darn hsitory forms...just have them staple to the form!!!)

This saves a LOT of time and if by chance your emergency isnt the "usual" they will do whats necessary anyway but at least have a starting point. Plus if youre nervous and /or confused...its there in black and white.

I also keep an extra one on my bulletin board....you never know!

I personally also keep a marble composition notebook ( not spiral for pages to rip out) and am on my 7th one. ( bad years I go through 1.5 books per year and good years I can squeeze 2 years into 1 book) I journal sx , any thing that may have affected the sx,and when I take meds etc with time noted...each page is 1-2 days depending on the amount I write..I rarely use it for personal thoughts but thats my choice. This has cut down on the "did I take my antibiotic earlier?" thoughts.

My aides and family ( and now the local EMT squad) all know to look for "the book"...never more than a room away) and its taken with me to the ER or hospital or Drs etc. This way they know exactly when Ive taken something...also its valuable for figuring out patterns of reactions (good and bad) and for recalling things. If the Dr says well, how often in the past month have you felt faint or had heart skips"...I can flip back and get that info without relying on bad memory or poor perceptions...doesnt it always seem worse than it is???

I use it to summarize the right sx too, before a Dr appt. (Like before the cardiologist I summarize how often and severe were my cardiac sx...for the Lyme Dr I summarize the reactions to the meds and my Lyme sx etc)and I take the summary with me...often the Dr puts the page into his files...and its very helpful for discussions!!!

AND while at hospital I use the same book to document exams and drugs and tests and tx...while there are a few mistakes related to billing Ive fixed this way ( like the endocrinologist who billed for 6 visits and saw me ONCE); mostly its to avoid errors...Ive nearly been given wrong meds or meds repeated etc..and .by showing nurses the book and what the person who accompanies me to the hospital has written ( or I have written)I can prove what Ive already been given....or what made me feel worse...

plus under that stress who can rely on memory???

Hope this helps :)

Edited by Michelle Sawicki
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Guest Finrussak

its funny that no one replied...and that so few even read the post. Is it that you find it less than important or not useful??? curious...

Ill have to consult my marketing team LOL

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Oh sorry Finnette! I've read through this a few times and it was so nice of you to type this up for everyone! It was alot to read in one sitting so I've gone back to it a couple times and didn't think to post a thank-you. I hope you didn't feel neglected! You are right, when you are seeing so many specialists it is important to keep on top of everything that is going on. No-one else is going to do it! Thanks so much! Laura

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I think many of us are just overwhelmed and low on energy points these days!

It is hard to read such long posts sometimes...I know for myself I haven't been able to keep up on the board hardly at all lately.

There is a large volume of posts on this board...it's very hard to keep up. I do not think it is a personal 'attack' on you.

Also, this topic has come up before and perhaps that is part of the reason???? It's hard to know...

Lack of replies doesn't necessarily mean your post didn't make a difference...


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Guest Finrussak

Thanks all

But I really wasnt taking it personally...my second post was a (failed) lighthearted attempt to figure out why not many read it...wasnt expecting thanks...if there are a lot who already know or do this, then Im glad and wont repeat it on other relevant posts. Just been seeing a lot of "this Dr saw this and that Dr saw that" stuff again.

And OF COURSE any may use, print, distribute anything helpful!!! (In the past Ive made this type of thing in a blank form type of document plus sx lists etc for a few Lymie sites and Drs locally)

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