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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » General Support » How do you keep track of everthing???

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Author Topic: How do you keep track of everthing???
Ann-OH
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Lyme leads us on a very complicated journey.
I posted the following as a response to another person's questions on Medical.

I figured a thread on what people do to keep track of everthing, medical, daily activities, family stuff, etc. would be helpful for all of us.

Any funny forgetful stories will help too.

Ann - OH

One thing that can help a lot is to keep a journal of your symptoms, doc visits, meds and procedures.

I use a spiral notebook - 9 1/2x6" size is easy to carry, has 150 pages.

I write the date, doctor's name, all my symptoms,etc. since the last visit on the right hand page. At times, I have just handed the journal to the doctor to read.
This is so helpful to them and to me. I don't have to remember everything - just remember to enter in the journal.

I used to keep a daily symptom journal, but now I find that if I write down new stuff as it happens, and then review old stuff just before an appointment, I can make it fairly short and better for the doctor.

On the left page, I write date, docs name and a list of questions, issues etc. I have. I try to keep it to 5 or less if I can.

I write down wt., BP and pulse rate-if they are taken - each time on the left page

I take notes there as doctor answers my questions. This alone makes the doctor speak clearer and answer questions. Write down all medical directions, including dosages, how often to take, if it is a new prescription etc.

I always have a pen clipped into the spiral, so it is ready. This journal can fit into most purses and with that many pages, you can cover a year or more. You can also look up what was said and done earlier if you and the doctor disagree on what was done when.

I carry a folder with 2 pockets for the copies of all tests and procedures I have had for the past year.

I clip the new prescriptions onto one pocket of that folder.

Inside, on one pocket, I have written the names, phone #'s and FAX #'s of all the doctors who are treating me.

I always give the nurse a sheet that I keep updating and printing out each visit. It has everything. name, address, date of birth, emergency contacts, current meds, meds to which I have bad reactions, recent medical problems, names of other doctors + med specialties, dentist, insurance info, Living will,etc. I posted a sample one here some time ago.

The nurses really love this sheet and so do doctors. I have one for me one for them to keep in my records. I carry this sheet with me in my wallet in case of emergencies.

So... that is how I deal with my bad memory and inability to retrieve words. Does anyone have any additonal ideas for how to maintain sanity and records?

Ann - OH


Posts: 5705 | From Ohio | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
kam
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Ann,

You are much higher functioning than I am. I would be able to keep the records you are now keeping before lyme.

Now, with lyme.....I am still battling this problem.

Sometimes it is all I can do to make a phone call. To write down the date of the phone call and what was accomplished and what needs to be done next is usually not something I can do at this time.

I did purchase a Day Timer. The plan was to record what was done and when I needed to follow up on it.

Most days I am not able to do this.

The journal size day timer I purchased has 3 months at a time.

It also has 3 booklets on the months, work records and addresses.

I try to write down doctor's visits, drug stuff, workmens' comp stuff and etc. in it.

But, it is frustrating that I still am not able to do this for the most part.

I do what I can when I can.

In the meantime, the work continues to back up.

I just sent a note to the pastor of the church to see if I could get some help.

I don't know when I was able to record the checks I have written. Luckily, I can check on line to see where my account stands and I have check overdraft.

My rent just went up by $80 because I did not do a very good job of keeping records last year. Where I rent, they will take off for medical expenses. This is good. But, none were taken off this contract year.

I continue to hope that I will be able to do these things. And I continue to ask for help.
But, it is a skill that not a lot of people have. I do have a in home housekeeper/caregiver but I have yet to find one that has secretarial skills.

I have 6 boxes of paper work that needs to be filed and have had for two years now. I tossed the other boxes of paper work that I had when I moved and later found out I needed the stuff I tossed. That cost me money too.

I am looking forward to hearing how others have been able to handle this.

I do have the skill at times..but it is few and far between.

I tried recording checks I had written in my ledger yesterday. I lasted about 10 minutes before that skill got to be mission impossible.

The good news is that I am now able to write out my rent check and other bills if I keep it simple and have had plenty of down time.

When this first hit, I had to have others write out the checks. I was still trying to be normal and over doing it at that time.

The communication between the brain and small motor skills were not working. I still have this problem if I over do it.


Posts: 15927 | From Became too sick to work or do household chores in 2001. | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
brainless
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I have open shoe boxes and when I have a receipt or something I should keep, I throw it in one of the shoe boxes. January gets me going to sort through for taxes etc and it seems to work for me.

b


Posts: 210 | From lalaland | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Linda LD
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Franklin Planner.

L


Posts: 1171 | From Knoxville, TN US | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
trueblue
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Ann ~ I read your post the other day and have to say I'm very impressed. I didn't know how to respond, though.

I use the "piles of clutter" system of organization. Important papers eventually make it into a big bowl and when that gets full (or company comes) they go into a shoe box.

I realize this is not a great system but I can't seem to get things in order the last few years.

I'm facing a bit of a nightmare, right now, having to go through 2 years of medical stuff for a SSDI review, again. I have to clean out the closet and all the boxes to get them in order to fill out the forms.

So, you wanna come over? I could use the good influence.


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Ann-OH
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True, I would love to come over - not sure I would be much help, but it would be so good to see you and have a cuppa.

I forgot to mention that on a couple of occasions, I forgot to take my journal or folder with me. I still had the sheet with all the info in my purse. I had to wing it with the rest.

I always try to tell the doctor that my word retrieval and cognitive functions are still floundering.

Flounder - that describes how I feel sometimes when I am trying to explain things. I flop and gasp for air and get very wide-eyed. Everything seems fishy!

Ann - OH


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Kara Tyson
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Lyme or no lyme, your brain is only capable of handling a certain amount of information in short term memory.

My grandmother, who suffered from Dementia, knew she was forgetful. She would write people's names on her hands and then look at it when she spoke. We would chuckle because she didnt think it was noticable. But it worked!


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laserred
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I keep a appointment type note pad with times written on them of when I have to do things, 'take meds, appointments, EAT, tv programs I want to watch, time to take something out for dinner...etc...and right next to it I have

a beeper alarm (to trigger me to check my note pad). Then I reset that beeper (before I have done that particular task) to go off at the next specific time I have to remember stuff, this alarm reminds me to check my 'list'.

It first gives me and 10 minute (2 beat)
warning sinal, then a five minute (2 beat) warning singal, then it goes off continuously until I shut it off. Then I reset it for my next task time, according to my list.

It's a 24 hour (I know there's a word for it, but I can't think of what it's called) "thingamajig" reminder that can be picked up at a drug store.

I found if you write yourself reminders, it's very important to write them all in/on the same note pad in a timely order, like an apointment calendar, otherwise you'll forget where or which note pad to check...

My ALARM going off now, ignored the warnings twice now...so gotta go

Seems to works for me

Good luck!!
~laserred~

Edited to add:

My "alarm system" actually has a little 'slide open' cover that opens to two compartments, that I can keep a fews meds in if know I'm going to be away at the time my alarm is suppose to be going off.

It also has a "fashionable cord necklace" so you can wear it around your neck and under your clothes so you can hear it easily, if your out and about.

Hope this helps

[This message has been edited by laserred (edited 16 June 2005).]


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trueblue
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Oh, that reminds me. I forgot what else I do because I didn't have it written down.

I write all appointments on a wall calendar, that's hanging in an obvious place.

I put meds in those plastic things (that I made fun of my dad for, for years, and swear I'd never use) that seperate into different times of the day. Usually for a week, unless I forget. Then I'm on my own. The first time I go, "Did I take that pill?" is when I decide that I better refill it.

I do make lists, constantly, of things I need to get done. Every so often I check the list and cross off done stuff. Eventually I transfer the undone stuff to a new list and add on.

If there's something I really must remember (like calling my best friend on his birthday or buying acidophilus) I'll write a word on my hand in ballpoint pen. I've done this as long as I can remember. It's hard to lose your hand.

Today, I remembered to buy file folders.

[This message has been edited by trueblue (edited 16 June 2005).]


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Ann-OH
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I think I have told this story here before, but here goes.

I always told people in our support group that they should make a list of the things to get done that day and that it should include stuff like "brush teeth," "unload dishwasher," and that people should cross things off as they were done.

It would make them feel they had accomplished something.

I also told them to put "make a list" as the first item and cross it off so they would have accomplished something even on the worst Lyme day.

Ann - OH


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trueblue
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quote:
Originally posted by Ann-OH:
I also told them to put "make a list" as the first item and cross it off so they would have accomplished something even on the worst Lyme day.

Ann - OH


I love this, I'm new and hadn't seen this before. Hehehe, I'm going to start all my lists that way, from now on.


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hiker53
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One of my friends who has an autistic child suggested this. Get a copy of every test done by your doctor and take notes at the doctor's office (it helps to have a friend come with you). Put them in a 3 ring binder with tabs to divide relevant sections.

Then when you go to the doctor or a new doctor you can just grab the binder and your info is up-to-date.


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Starphoenix
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I have so many lists, I think my lists have lists!

It was so bad that I've actually had to remind myself, in writing, to use the bathroom.

Yikes!

Steph


Posts: 1318 | From Shohola, PA | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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