Saturday, August 11, 2012

Medicine Card for your Wallet

Not long after my wreck (October 2010) I started attending cognitive therapy where I met the most amazing woman, Terri. Over the many weeks and months that followed she became almost like a mother figure to me because she would get onto me like I was one of her children. I learned so many useful things when I was going through those therapy sessions. I am very grateful to her for all the hard work she put into me to get me back to the functioning human being that I am today.

One of the things which Terri taught me was to keep an index card in my wallet with all of my medicines and doctors listed on it. Because of the brain injury I had a difficult time retaining information and keeping up with constant medicine changes was a huge challenge for me. In order to help me overcome this she had me make a card and write all the information down that I might need to know at any point in time. To this day I still carry a card in my wallet with this information, in case I should ever need it. For the past two years that card has been unused, although changed out for an updated card as medicines changed.

The reason I have this card in my wallet is in case I should need the information, but cannot remember it when I need it. Or, if I should become unconscious/in a car wreck (I sure hope not!) all of the information that the emergency personnel might possibly need is accessible. Even if you do not have a brain injury this card is a smart idea. If you are on any types of medications or have any illnesses then you should definitely consider making a card for your wallet.

Information You Should Write Down
~At the very top of the card write your name, the purpose of the card and the date of the time you are making this card. Reason: your name is so that whoever may need to look at this card will know it is yours. Your wallet will probably have other identification information, but this is just a helpful thing to have on the card. My card is labeled "Med List" because I keep my medicines listed on the front, and other info on the back. The date on the card is highly important so that the reader will know the card is current. I rewrite my card each time I have a medicine change.
~Next list each medication that you are currently taking. Write the name of the medicine, the dose amount (including the mg. etc.). Finally add what each medicine is used for. I currently have a medicine for depression/brain chemical imbalance (caused from the brain injury), and migraine prevention pill which are taken daily. Those are listed first on the card. Next I have listed the other two medicines which I take as needed; one for back pain, one for migraine relief.
~If you have any current diagnoses' list them in order of importance. I have 4 total: Closed Head Trauma (TBI), Fibromyalgia, Global Amnesia, and finally Migraines of the head, chest and abdomen.
~Now it is time to write doctor information. Start with your primary care doctor then follow with other doctors or specialists in whose care you are under. List the doctor's name (Including Dr.!), what the doctor is for, and the phone number at which he/she can be reached at. I am finally down to two doctors who take care of me (I had a lot more, but thanks to prayers and time I no longer needed to see them). I have my primary doctor and my neurologist. If the doctor uses a nurse make sure to add her name under the doctor's name.
~Emergency Contacts. This is another important section, especially for someone else who may need to contact someone for you. Try to list three people who live close enough that they would be able to assist you if necessary. I have my mom, dad, one sister and Autry listed on my card. Include cell number, work number, and home number if you can so they can be sure to be reached.
~Finally if there are any other notes which may be important to a reader of this card add them at the bottom of the back side of the card. My card states: "Unable to drive or work due to brain injury & global amnesia. Effects short and long term memory." This would be important for emergency personnel to know.

I hope that this idea/tip encourages you to think about making one of these cards for your wallet. This may also be a good idea for a child to keep on them if they have allergies, etc. and may end up needing medical assistance. This may also be a good idea for elderly people who may have a difficult time remembering all the information they might need to know.

I like my card. I feel more freedom knowing that if something did happen, all the information that anyone would need to know is right there in my wallet (one of the first places emergency personnel look). Please consider doing this project! One day you may be glad you did!

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