Why carry this special piece of paper around with you?

By MAYS Latest Reply 2011-01-25 08:15:43 -0600
Started 2011-01-21 16:37:37 -0600

I have a file on my computer that I update constantly, print out, and carry with my medical documents to, and from both the hospital, and the doctors office.

This print out contains my name, and most importantly the following information, every time that I am prescribed a medication it goes on this list with the name, the date, the dosage, and the amount to be taken daily.

I also include any vaccines that I have received such as the H1N1 (flu) vaccine, as well as the Pneumococcal vaccine, both of which I received in December.

Why do I do this?

When I am asked by the receptionist, or the doctors assistant about any medications that I take, I don't have to try to recall from memory, or carry around pills, or pill bottles for this information.

I have been praised for having such a list, and for it's neatness.
Each category is color coded, my diabetes medications are highlited in yellow, my hypertension medication in pink, my cholesterol medication in green, and prescribed pain killers are listed in red.

Any over the counter (otc) medications, or vitamin supplements are listed on the bottom of the page (it may seem like overkill, but it really isn't).

Choose your own system, but please make a list that you can take with you to your next appointment, it can make things so much easier!


41 replies

CaliKo 2011-01-24 16:31:34 -0600 Report

Hi Mays, My CDE class printed out a sheet with my medications, vitamins, OTC drugs and even a patient number for that hospital's patient system. So I just keep copying that and making changes to it. I really do need to type up my own file so I can do it neater. And add the vaccines, that's a good idea. My doctor always wants to know where I got each vaccine, and I have to think because some are at his office, some at the pharmacy and the flu shot is free at work some years. It's an initiative at my hospital for the doctor to ask for all medications every time they see anyone, so it really does help. Might be a good idea to list allergies, too.

GabbyPA 2011-01-25 08:15:43 -0600 Report

I also carry a card I got from my doctor's office that lists my weight and blood pressure so they can see if I am different from my normal.

momcsq 2011-01-23 03:28:01 -0600 Report

I went through a period where I was in the ER or hospital every time I turned around - I have a small pocket calendar size plastic case that I have 3 lists. First, is all my meds, including those discontinued (also my doc's info, pharmacy and my family and their contact info; second, is hospitalizations, and procedures/surgeries; and third, I keep a small spreadsheet of my labs for the last year. This is good for me - don't have to remember and I just have where ever I am copy them to use in my chart or at ER.

The reason I have my discontinues is because of my back pain I don't have to remember which meds I took and if they worked.

AuntieBear 2011-01-23 03:24:45 -0600 Report

On my papers, I have my name, address, next of kin, primary care physician info, blood type and hospital of preference. The next page list all of my drug allergies. The final page lists all my med troubles like diabetes, high blood pressure etc. Under each problem I list the meds I take to control said problem. I keep it in my purse all the time so that if something happens when I am out and about, the paramedics can just go digging in my purse and find the info they need to help treat me. As for when I go to the doctor, I take these papers AND I take my glucometer and the pocket calendar that I record my daily blood pressures in. That way when he asks me how I am doing, I can just hand over the glucometer and calendar and he can see at a glance what is going on.

Blue Angel
Blue Angel 2011-01-22 20:22:01 -0600 Report

I also been doing that for years. I am allergic to so many thing that every time I see a new doctor they have my info. Doctors ,address, dates.etc. But my thing is is my spouse wants me to start a file in the computer as well. but I like hand writing everything. But, It do sound easier your way. So now I have to tell him he is right. LOL

MAYS 2011-01-23 07:09:02 -0600 Report

Gabby has made such a great point concerning allergies below.
Please do this, create a file on your computer, it's so much easier to maintain.

GabbyPA 2011-01-22 19:56:05 -0600 Report

We do this also and something you may want to include in your list is any allergies you have to medicines and what they do to you. That is one we are going to be adding as of late, we have been finding a few new ones to add to the list and the name is constantly escaping me.

MAYS 2011-01-23 07:06:02 -0600 Report

Thank you for commenting, this is a very good point that you have made.
I am fortunate at this time to have no known allergies, thus the exclusion of that category, just a single line at the bottom that states ""No known allergies."

jayabee52 2011-01-22 11:57:26 -0600 Report

I did it for Jem. I had a page of meds, and several pages of BG readings, insulin injections and how much. I had the dismissal instruction sheet from her last hospitalization, and emailed instructions from her primary & endo Drs.

But when Jem passed I fell out of the habit and didn't keep it up for myself. I need to get back on the horse & start agaon fr me. I know Jem wanted me to take good care of myself too. But grieving the loss of a loved one often throws one off strde. Once I'm completely moved in (first load went in yesterday) and get everything set up, I'll look for that notebook and set it up again for me. I'll probably also get a USB medical alert with all those things I need to communicate in the case I am unable to respond.

I do plan a (10 hr) trip in early Feb to support a friend through a surgery, so I'd better have those things in hand before I set out. Don't know when I'll return.

Thanks for the reminder Mays!

MAYS 2011-01-22 14:36:20 -0600 Report

James, I know that you will once again get everything under control because your heart, and your life are governed by the request of Jem that you should, and would take good care of yourself, and I believe that you are a man of both honor, and integrity!

Don't forget to look for that notebook when you begin to unpack!

joni55 2011-01-22 08:59:36 -0600 Report

I learned to make a list of my meds, diagnoses, allergies and contact information the hard way. In September, I was rushed to the ER and was unable to tell them much of anything, not even contacts. When I got home, one of the first things I did was to make up an index card with this information. I keep it in my wallet and carry it with me all the time.

Jeannie Holmes
Jeannie Holmes 2011-01-22 23:15:40 -0600 Report

I did the same thing a few weeks ago when I had to go to the ER. I didn't have a list with me and could hardly remember all the meds I take. There are just too many.

joni55 2011-01-22 23:30:23 -0600 Report

At the time, I was not even able to give anyone as a contact either. I had collapsed in front of my apartment building. I had lost my memory and didn't remember much for a few days and then it came back in bits and pieces. Fortunately, a neighbor was able to contact a relative through facebook.

MAYS 2011-01-22 10:22:53 -0600 Report

Smart move!
I'm sorry to hear about that, I am glad that you decided on a plan of action to prevent that from occuring again, continue to take very good care of yourself!

petals 2011-01-21 20:15:10 -0600 Report

I do this too! I have a notebook that I keep in my purse at all times, no way I would remember everything! I didn't think about putting it on the computer and printing it out, Great idea.

MAYS 2011-01-22 01:12:23 -0600 Report

I know the overwhelming feeling of trying to remember everything when I should,
it's nice to know that you are on top of things, don't stop now, keep it up!

Mrs. Tenacious
Mrs. Tenacious 2011-01-21 19:12:07 -0600 Report

Hello Mays!
That is a good idea! I am going to see if my printer will allow me to print out a business card sized one…I take so many medicines I hope I have room! Be Blessed!

MAYS 2011-01-22 01:05:34 -0600 Report

Whatever method you decide on using, customize it to suit your needs, keep it basic, simple, yet informative, it may save your life one day!



Mrs. Tenacious
Mrs. Tenacious 2011-01-22 07:15:42 -0600 Report

Hello MAYS! Thanks for the link! I don't know if you knew or not, but the link to CVS is no longer operational…I use CVS for all my prescriptions and I will go there and inquire! Be Blessed!

BandonBob 2011-01-21 19:07:06 -0600 Report

You have a great idea that I have been using since I was diagnosed. The only difference would be the color coding and I print mine on a business card. I have mine and in case of emergency my daughter and son-in-law each have one they carry with them. I also include an abbreviated version of my health history on another card that hits the highlights.

MAYS 2011-01-22 01:03:02 -0600 Report

You have so much to share with everyone here with your system.
Great idea about the business card versions!

Mrs. Tenacious
Mrs. Tenacious 2011-01-21 19:15:43 -0600 Report

I did not see your post…I guess great minds think alike! I am also going to make some cards for my parents that live in another state. I don't like the fact that they don't have this information handy for emergencies. I was going to get an ID bracelet, but I think I would have to get a few to cover all the medicine I take! Be Blessed!

re1ndeer 2011-01-21 19:01:39 -0600 Report

I've been doing this for almost 5 years (except the color coding). Actually I learned about this right after I started Diabetes classes.

In was one of the things they stressed in case you were in an accident, that you carry your information with you, besides having an ID bracelet to let people know of your conditions.

My father who was a type 1 Diabetic had to carry a card that said, " I'm not drunk, I'm a diabetic." That was 35 years ago. So, everyone has their own way of keeping their information.

Cari Lee
Cari Lee 2011-01-21 18:27:05 -0600 Report

Hi Mays,
Sounds like u have ur med info well under controll. I sure wish i would have thought of that. It would have made things so much easier when i went to the dr. concerning my thyroid surgery last tues.
Thanks again for the info.

MAYS 2011-01-22 00:47:39 -0600 Report

I try to make things easier, and convient for me, and others.
How did your thyroid surgery turn out, take very good care of yourself!
You are a very important member of this growing, caring family!


Cari Lee
Cari Lee 2011-01-22 14:40:03 -0600 Report

Hi Mays,
Thanks for the concern. I haven't had the surgery yet. Not till Feb.10. Was just going to dr. for Pre-surgery instructions. Not looking forward to it as u can suspect,but it has to be done. I am so in awe as to how much this family cares.
U have a good one.

Harlen 2011-01-21 17:44:52 -0600 Report

I use a usb drive and keep it on my key chain
best wishes Mays

MAYS 2011-01-22 00:42:29 -0600 Report

I also wear a USB Medical Alert bracelet that cntains my diabetes medical history, most receptionist are either to afraid to plug it into their computers, or are not allowed to where I live.
It's great to see that you are on top of things, Harlen.
How is the weather up there, we just got hit with our fifth snow storm in less than a month this past Friday, I know that it has to be a beautiful sight there!

Best wishes,

Harlen 2011-01-22 16:06:10 -0600 Report

Here too snow snow snow and cold lol
I tell them if you dont use it dont ask any Q.
They can kiss my hoo hoo lol
Best wishes