Creating a Health Care Binder for each member of your family for acute and chronic healthcare issues can make challenging moments in time easier and more organized.
I learned about this from my mother, Sandra E. Mager who graduated in the first class of patient advocates in the country. She taught me to use a binder with dividers and pockets. Use one section for questions, one section for reports, and another for labs. It is important to bring someone with you to stressful appointments, so the person at the appointment can just listen…and the support person writes. Taking notes on what the health care provider is saying gives you concrete notes to 1. Look back on when you have questions and 2. Refer to when the memory of the conversation may be different than what was said and 3. To check in with the health care provider and reference the appointment/notes. I was taught to write ONE question at the top of a page and leave the rest blank for writing the answer and any ancillary questions that may come up later to ask again relating to the topic at hand.
The Lance Armstrong foundation has binders you can get from them for free or you can make your own as above with the patient’s favorite colors. This can be an empowering way to be both in control of what you can and mindful about what you need to know and how best to keep track of labs, reports, questions and notes form appointments.