Written by Karen Giblin, Founder and President Red Hot Mamas Monday,
We’ve all been told to be a partner in our own healthcare. I used to find that to be a difficult task before I started writing down important health information. In the past, I would visit a doctor and remember just dribs and drabs of information and it clearly made it more difficult for me to manage my health care in an organized fashion.
These days, technology makes it possible to track every aspect of our health from calories consumed to how many steps we take per day. To record my health data, I decided to start a journal simply using a spiral notebook pad. And, it’s been a highly effective tool, as well as been empowering and reassuring to know that I am taking part of my care by recording important information about my health.
Each of our health concerns is unique. A simple journal helps us to identify health issues, track our menopause symptoms, and helps us be more prepared for things to come.
So, I encourage all of you, to develop a personal menopause health journal. Some of my suggestions to include in your journal are: 1.Keep a list of all the phone numbers of your healthcare providers (HCP, Primary Care, GYN, other specialists, pharmacy)
2.Keep a list of when you visited your HCP (date of visit, reason for visit,prescription/s filled, next visit date, tests performed, and any special notes pertaining to office visit)
3.Keep names of prescriptions, date prescribed, how to take medication, any side effects or reactions you may have had to medication
4.Record your family health history and include information on your mother, father, sister/s, brother/s, maternal grandmother and grandfather, paternal grandmother and grandfather and your children, daughter/s, son/s. List their medical history, if deceased, cause of death
5.Develop a list of your own symptoms or ailments. Things to take note of: hot flashes; night sweats; insomnia; vaginal dryness; changes in: sexual desire; moods and emotions; thinking and memory; bladder control; skin; eyes; hair; changes in weight; and record when it started, how often it occurs, and how significantly it is affecting you
6.Record a list of questions you would like to discuss with your doctor during your next check-up 7.Provide an area in your journal where you can take notes when you visit your doctor when he/she gives instructions Use your journal as a quick reference guide. It can also be a springboard to help you discuss your concerns with your doctor.
The more health knowledge you have, the better ability you will have to manage your healthcare. Just remember, your good health starts with you and the things you do to make it good.