Keep a diary

Consider keeping a diary so that you have an accurate, detailed record of consultations, tests, procedures and medications. When you have a complicated medical condition it is important to have your own records. You will be frequently in and out of hospitals, doctors surgeries having tests and procedures. This catalogue of information can seem like a double up on hospital records at the time, but in a few years if you are in the emergency room of another hospital interstate or overseas, a diary can be very useful to the attending Doctor when assessing your condition, medical history and any medications you have had reactions to in the past.  Make sure the spelling is correct and your record keeping is accurate and up to date. 

The diary must be a concise record which is easily transported.  You could easily upload a business organising app, such as Evernote, for this purpose.  There is no need for volumes of information, simply include short entries: 

  • The name of the Doctor or Consultant.
  • The date.
  • The place: hospital, specialist rooms.
  • The procedure or test - make sure you ask for the correct spelling or have someone write it in for you.
  • Results of tests - names of diagnosis, measurements, which part of your body was tested.
  • Details of any sensitivities you have to medicines, skin tapes, gells, anything that results in raise redness, spots, vomitting, itchiness or localised swelling can all be indications of a reaction.
  • Is the new reaction is worse, or similar, is it in the same place?
  • Take a photo on your phone as a clear record to show doctors or nurses

Ultimately this is your body and if you have a complicated condition it is your responsibility to ensure your medical history is communicated quickly and correctly to all medical and clinical professionals who are caring for you. Until there is a database which can be accessed from anywhere in the world, quickly and efficiently across every hospital, your doctors rely on your memory recall.