If you are currently navigating through a health challenge, then you already know how important it is to document everything and keep personal health records organized so you can provide this important information to your healthcare providers.
It can quickly get overwhelming to keep up with everything and remember from one week to the next all the details involved in your health journey.
Many years ago, my daughter’s health was declining rapidly and we made the big pivot to pursue natural alternatives to help her get better. This involved a terrible two years of weaning off the medications she had been on for far too long. Her withdrawal symptoms were severe and ran the full gamut from seizures to random vomiting. I became a full-time caregiver, researcher, and health advocate for her. I documented everything and created journals and notebooks full of information and I studied it for hours every week to find answers and patterns so I could communicate these things to her healthcare providers.
Through this experience, I created my own system of tracking, documenting, researching and organizing everything to help us navigate a path to restore her health and wellbeing.
Why I wish I started Medical Binders for all my family members years ago
Since then, I have realized that everyone needs to have a Medical Binder to keep track of personal health records. Not only when you are going through a health crisis. Ideally, every person needs one from the point of their birth until the day they die. I wish I would have started one for each of my kids when they were babies so I could pass it off to them when they got married someday.
Both of my girls, now live in New Zealand and they now have to give their medical history to doctors they see there, yet they don’t have the details about various things they went through growing up. I don’t have it either. I can’t even begin to figure out what happened to it all.
My older daughter had non-invasive hip surgery when she was 12 and it was discovered she had an acetabular impingement in her hip and was therefore required to give up ballet. It is hard for her to remember all these details now that she is an adult and is pregnant with her 2nd child and meeting with doctors about her current hip pain.
My youngest daughter couldn’t see when she was born and at first, it was looking like she was autistic. After going to many specialists we were told she had “stem blindness.” She had all the equipment to see but the signals from her eyes weren’t reaching her brain to decode them. It was a strange developmental delay but her vision actually started kicking in on its own around 5 months old. However, once that happened she was severely cross-eyed which was eventually corrected at 8 months by having eye-muscle surgery. I wish I kept all the records from that time because now I can’t find anything online about “stem blindness” and it is really hard to explain this to anyone, yet this experience affected our daughter’s early development greatly.
Make it a priority to put together Medical Binders as soon as possible
Do yourself and your family members a favor and create Medical Binders for each person in your family, including your aging parents if they don’t already have one or aren’t able to put one together themselves.
How to get started organizing Medical Binders for your family members
The first place to start is by gathering together all the personal health records you do have.
Then order all the supplies you need to create your own unique Medical Binders to suit your needs.
Please note: At one point I bought several medical binders and journals to help me get started but I found them all so limiting that I had to start my own in order to make it suit our unique needs.
The best way to do this is by creating your own 3 ring notebook to keep everything organized.
The supplies I recommend for getting started include:
1. 3 Ring Binder
I recommend the Amazon Basics 2″ D-Ring Binder pictured here
It comes in a pack of 4 for a very economical price so you can just go ahead and make one for every member of your family while you are at it.
It can hold up to 500 pages so it is a good binder size to get started with. If needed you can expand to a larger binder later or add additional binders as needed.
This binder includes a transparent plastic overlay so you can customize the front/back cover and the spine. You can either create one on your computer or you can grab the FREE cover design I have created and make available in my Resource Library.
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2. Dividers with Pockets
These dividers are perfect for organizing your binder into sections to help you find everything easier. I like having pockets to throw things into until I have the opportunity to 3 hole punch everything.
3. A 3 Hole Punch
If you don’t have a good 3-hole punch, I recommend PaperPro
The low force design of this punch makes it 40% easier to punch through up to 12 pieces of paper at a time.
4. A Low Profile Clipboard
I like to have a clipboard to keep current tracking forms on for the week or month that I am working on. This keeps them readily available so I can keep track of everything easily throughout the day. I like low profile clipboards because you can throw it into your bag to take with you to doctors appointments.
This low profile clipboard is made from durable plastic and can hold up to 1/2″ of papers securely. It also has a retractable hanging hole if you have a place you want to hang your clipboard. I have several clipboards hanging in my office with my goals and my Healthy Habits Tracker that I use every month.
5. Spiral Notebooks with Perforated Paper
I like to keep spiral notebooks to keep all my notes and research. They have a nice perforation down the side making it easy to tear them out so you can organize these pages in your medical binder later.
I like to keep these notebooks from Amazon on hand for all my various projects. They are wide-ruled, they have a micro-perforation for easy removal without tearing and the holes already punched so you can quickly add them to your binder.
How to find the right printable forms for your Medical Binder
You can go to google.com/images and search for whatever forms you are looking for. If you like the form you can click the link and get to the source of this form. Some are free and some are paid.
A lot of Health and Wellness Bloggers create their own digital products to help their readers solve various problems. Again some of these are FREE and some of these are available for purchase.
I have a product that I have developed that has a lot of great forms for a Medical Binder but this product is more geared as a planner and tracker to help you learn how to listen to your body to guide you on your natural health journey.
It is called The Discerning Woman’s Health and Wellness Planner and you can learn more about it here.
I also have a FREE Resource Library full of over 35 Printables to help my subscribers. Many of these printables would make a perfect addition to your Medical Binder and they all have a purpose in helping you to navigate your journey to better health and wellbeing and include a link to a post about how to use them.
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List of things to include in your Medical Binder
- Medical History
- Family History
- List of Medications
- List of Medical Interventions/Surgeries/Hospital Stays
- List of Allergies
- Immunization Record
- List of Medical Tests and Labs
- List of Medical Professionals
- Doctors Notes
- Questions for Doctor
Creating your own 3-ring binder is the best way to be able to customize a Medical Binder to meet your own unique needs. If you just start with the basics you can continually add to it as your needs change.
The most important thing is that you have some central place to organize and store all this important information and be able to access when needed.
I hope these ideas give you the inspiration and ideas to tackle this project and get started. You will be so glad you did.
Wishing you Joy in the journey,
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