Swatibee is here today with the fourth post for The Medical Project. The Temperly is still out being replaced, but that hasn’t stopped her from getting her plan on!
This binder shall be named The Ever-Elusive Violet 🙁 but it is confirmed to be on the way to me and luckily I have a beautiful compact Finsbury that I bought from another Filofaxer and hasn’t yet found the exact thing I’ll use it for (I had a plan when I bought it but I admit part of my purchase was my love for Finsburies and I’ve not gotten around to that plan. So I do have a real binder to show you if not the final one I’ll be using.
I printed the first draft of all my pages, both so I could write this post and because I had a trip coming up and wanted to have it ready. It worked really really well (more on that later but no actual ER trips which is grand). I’d knew I wanted to custom print a bunch of my pages as it is loads easier to update when things change (my meds shift at least once a month and sometimes more often) and to replace should anything get lost on any trips to the ER. The goal here is that nothing is irreplaceable. Custom printing made me realize I can have non standard size pages, so I’m considering slightly larger pages once the Violet comes as I believe it’s bit bigger than the compact Finsbury and even there I have more room than I’m using. That will mean making dividers but I’m going to try not to get too precious about that, we’ll see how that goes. I will be using standard size FF paper for some notes but don’t mind that they will be a bit smaller than the other pages, it will make them easier to find. Hopefully this will be the perfect combination of portability and page real estate.
The whole thing isn’t very thick, though I admit it feels huge to me as I’m used to using a pocket (admittedly a stuffed Malden) at home and a mini while traveling, I’ll get used to it since everyone agrees no matter how much I love my mini it’s unpractical for other people to navigate and my Times New Roman 6 font is only readable by me. Ah well.
I also adapted my original mocked up plan by removing the prevention tab and just using my preprinted allergy cards in a pocket and while away I handed these cards out when we went to restaurants and they worked really well letting the kitchen be extremely careful and I didn’t get sick even at some fancy meals (generally fancy restaurants are the worst for me because of sauces and things with multiple ingredients).
When I arrived at the hotel one of the first things I did was show my travel companion my FF and my EpiPen on my belt, I searched quite extensively and have a fannypack style case that’s great for hiking and holds two EpiPens plus basic pills and even has basic instructions inside, but I don’t want to wear that daily and I do occasionally set down my purse which isn’t something I can do with my EpiPen. This is a Coach brand pencil case and I added small clips to it so it can attach to my belt loops, and since it hangs horizontally and from two points it doesn’t move around and annoy me too much when I’m wearing it.
Generally the sections were the same as I’d planned out, titles written on both sides of each tab and on the front of the divider as well. The tabs in order are, register at hospital, allergies, medications and doctors, my anaphylaxis, medical history, notes on this ER trip, scratch paper, (and I added a new one) my general calendar, and the ninth tab is blank essentially just being a back page.
because my presentation is unusual it has been helpful in the past for my girlfriend to be able to tell hospital people that this is usually what it looks like it me so they’re not trying to figure out why I can’t walk and instead can concentrate on getting me more Epinephrine and often Benadryl.
As I was putting this all together for my trip I realized an abbreviated version of my calendar would be useful for not only this trip but any other time as well, in case I need to be able to cancel things from the ER or anything else so I added the tab for that.
The page that I think is most interesting (because honestly how many if you really care how many pills I take a day – 59 daily right now, in case I’ve now made you curious) is the current ER trip page.
I’m pleased that this can remind me even when I’m quite brain dead what information is important to record. In case the pic is hard to read the top says “This trip to the ER” and has space for the date, then lines for “hospital” and “doctor” and a long line for “suspected cause (what did I eat / breathe)” and then a few spaces for “Medications given:” along with times and “Blood Pressure:” again with times. The last section is “Post hospital instructions:” and that’s it, I plan to also file the past few of these in the binder under history since which hospital and the date will allow the doctors to request records should they need them and it will help me track things as well obviously.
So that’s my ER info waiting for the beautiful Temperley to move into. The trial run on this recent trip was good and while the size will take some getting used to I think it is the right decision and it feels great having it properly collected.