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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Creating a medical record book

Last week my son Dylan had knee surgery.  I've written about it on my other blog if you are interested.  He's doing much better, and thank you for praying if you knew about it.

Throughout this entire experience, I've realized there are many details of Dylan's medical history that are blurry.  Like did he break his hand or his wrist playing Pop Warner.  Why did he have a knee x-ray a few years ago?  And the biggest one was about his heart.

As Dylan was coming out of anesthesia, the supervising nurse asked me, "Has Dylan or any member of your family ever had any irregular heart issues?"

My maternal protective instinct wanted to yell, "WHY?  WHAT'S WRONG!!??!!"

But I'm much more mature than that (ahem) and I calmly replied ... "well, he did see a cardiologist a few years ago for something that was heard at a sports physical.  It was nothing." 

Turns out Dylan was having frequent PVC's, which can be normal for an older person coming out of anesthesia, but not for a 17-year-old, and not as frequent or as long as they continued.  They never stopped.

I got home and realized I couldn't put my finger on the piece of paper reporting what the cardiologist heard and said was normal in someone who is highly athletic.  I know the records are in a box, along with that year's tax records ... whatever that year was.

It got me wishing I had kept a running medical journal on each member of our family.  One book with information on everyone.  It would help me when EACH YEAR at my annual exam I guess at the dates of my own benign breast biopsies.  It's pitiful. 

This book would have helped me see patterns of Robbie's ear infections as a toddler, and Josh's sinus headaches.  I could also record medications my daughter has tried and why we stopped using them. I would remember who had a cast, when and why.  And which specialty doctor we saw for what issue.

It's never too late to start a medical journal.  This will involve some research for me to fill in some missing dates, but once I've done that, it's done.  Hopefully it will save us frustration in the future.

Grace & Peace,


  1. Glynnis,
    I haven't started a medical journal, either, and now that you're mentioning it, I'm going to.
    I can't remember exact dates, diagnosis, or meds, either...I started forgetting specifics as we started having kids. Before that I was a walking datebook/medical book/etc. I swear some of my brain cells left each time I pushed another child out!
    Thanks for the reminder to start this important document! It'll especially help as we move from doctor-to-doctor with my husbands job...
    ~ Alycia

  2. I LOVE this idea, Glynnis! I would take it one step further and create a notebook for each person in the family. When that person goes to a doctor's appointment, it's easy to grab and bring along. If we create one for our kids, when they grow up and leave home (as they eventually do), they could take the notebook with them and have an accurate medical record.

    I WISH I had thought of this years ago! But I'm implementing it now. Better late than never, right?

  3. Great idea! I am also planning to make a medical record book for my family records. But I heard that now there is an existing Electronic Medical Records software that can restore all the data of different patient. I am just looking for info. about it. Thanks for sharing.


  4. This is a good idea and one I hadn't thought of. We keep records but not in such an organized way that I could quickly find what I need. I used to be better at this when the kids were younger...keeping track of immunizations, etc.