I thought I would share a “tip” on how I keep track of my MS – so I’m able to recall things when needed or share information with other members of my health care team (who are not my neurologist).
So here is what I’ve done. I went and bought a HUGE binder… and I requested all my Medical Records… Personally, I had to get medical records from my diagnosing neurologist (general neurologist) and my MS Specialist neurologist. But I also got my records from all my other doctors.
I find this a lot easier when I need to recall past treatment… while I can sit here and name off MS treatments I’ve taken, I can’t always recall the dates in which I was on certain medications and/or received a specific treatment for something.
My medical records binder also includes my MRI reports. I also requested my MRI reports from the radiology clinic, because I’ve found that when I have a followup appointment, and I have the records on hand… it’s easier to go over with my neurologist… especially since results can take some time to be sent.
Now let me say that this is a work in progress… because I’m always getting more medical records… I usually collect them after I have a “change” in my health… or every 6 months.
I also take the time to place my records in order by date. So it’s kind of like a binder timeline of my MS…
I’m currently working on getting dividers for the binder. While I like things in order by date, I thought it would be beneficial to categorize things further, for example: Primary Care, Neurologist, MRI Reports, etc. I’m also contemplating getting a small binder for each category, so if needed, I can take a binder with me.
It’s all about personal preference… and honestly… some people could carry their medical records with them at once… but I have A LOT of records, so that wouldn’t be so easy.
It may not be needed a lot… but I can tell you that I’m very happy that I requested my records… because it has helped me make decisions since I was diagnosed. For example, I decided to change from my diagnosing neurologist, to a specialist. I had been contemplating the idea, but then I went over my medical records and I saw that there were things documented in the records that were “discussed” with my mother and I… that actually were NOT.
Just know that as a patient, you have the rights to your medical records. You never know when they might come in handy and they may help to keep you on track.