Tips to take control of your health and healthcare needs

16 Mar

You are the most important person on your healthcare team.  I have read countless books over the past 20 years from “How to Get Out of the Hospital Alive”, and YOU The Smart Patient.  All of them have powerful messages.  Everyone could use the simple tips to keep you healthy.  I recommend that everyone retrieve a copy of the Handbook or Guide Book for “YOU” The Smart Patient as An Insider’s Handbook for Getting the Best Treatment. In addition, to keep track of the details that you need in your lifetime of medical care there are electronic flash drive medical bracelets.  They are small and convenient.  You can keep on your person or wear as a bracelet if you have a specific life-threatening medical condition.  Each individual family member can be added to this flash drive. The program can be downloaded anywhere and anytime.  Finally, for those who have endured a traumatic brain injury I also recommend reading the book Over My Head by Claudia Osborne.

A nurse friend and I once began writing chapter titles to help patients in the healthcare system. This kept me focused through nearly decades of mistreatment and only 4 hours of energy to live on every single day.  I have searched and read many books over the years looking for what helps patients for the best treatment.  Finally in 2006 a Handbook was published by well-known authors, Dr. Roizen and Dr. Oz!  So I’m not going to try and reinvent the wheel.  This is a very easy and fun read and covers everything.  You’ll be surprised by the number of things disclosed in this book, but definitely helpful tips in every way possible to keep you healthy.

Everyone should have this book available to them before they become a patient or are hospitalized.  This is preventative medicine!  Why don’t our insurance plans purchase and distribute these books?

It is written lightheartedly, uses illustration and humor but is significantly effective.  It’s not a book you need to pick up and read from beginning to end.  You can just read the chapter that pertains to you at that moment in time.  It is simply what it says it is:  A Guide and Handbook.   It’s in larger print, and illustrations are fun.  Stay healthy and purchase this book.  If you need to, put this book on a gift list or buy extras for others you care about.

I’ve purchase many from used book list for .01 plus 3.99 shipping so for  under $5.00 you’ll have a book you can use for yourself and others you love.  I give them as gifts to everyone I know.

YOU The Smart Patient.  An Insider’s Handbook for Getting the Best Treatment.  by Michael F. Roizen, M.D., and Mehmet C. Oz, M.D. with The Joint Commission

To give you a better idea of this book and whether it is something you are interested  review the contents and see if it’s something you might want to borrow from the library or invest in as a handbook to health.

The following is an overview and contents of this book:

Introduction:  Why You Need to Be a Smart Patient

  • The Smart Patient Quiz
  •   Getting to Know You
  •   Let’s discover the juicy secrets about the person who controls your health:  you
  •   Finding Dr. Right
  •   How to find that gem of a doctor who’ll make your life easier—-and longer
  •   Let’s Play Operation!
  •   You’re having surgery?  Use these insider tips you’ll need to sail safely through the                                          OR
  •   Prescription Drugs
  •   Take two and pray you’re still here in the morning
  •   How to Case a Hospital
  •   Use an expert’s eye to find the best hospital for your specific goals—and learn why              one size does not fit all
  •   Have a Happily Humdrum Hospital Stay
  •   Only $2,900 a night and free sponge baths—what a deal!  Just make sure you  check    out . . .
  •   Why You Should Always Get a Second Opinion
  •   Whose life is it, anyway?
  •   Just What Gives You the Right?
  •    You have rights, you know.  Here’s how to use them
  •    Considering the Alternatives
  •     On pins and needles about acupuncture and herbs?
  •     Here’s what you need to know about alternative medicine
  •     Take Control of Your Health Insurance
  •      It’s your most important—and expensive—health resource.
  •       Are you wasting it?
  • Appendix 1 Glossary:            Medical Jargon Explained
  • Appendix 2 Sample Forms:  Your Health Journal, Living Will, Power of Attorney
  •                                                    for Health Care, Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) Order
  • Appendix 3 Resources

Medical Bracelets and Flash Drives are another way to take care of yourself.  Prevention is the best healthcare! Did you know you could buy a flash drive with your medical history on it?  It will include only what you wish to put on the flash drive.  It has the programs already installed on the flash drive.  No new programs to purchase.  They work in all computers.  The program includes:  Insurance Information, Physicians, Emergency Contacts, Medications, and Medical History.  You or someone you know should insert all the information you would like to have in case of an emergency.  This is simple.  Just put the flash drive into your computer and add the necessary information. If you need someone to help…ask them!  Learn to ask for help.

Everyone needs to have their health information at their figure tips.  If you have a traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, chronic illness (physical or mental)… life is complicated enough!  These bracelets are nice for everyone.  You do not need to have a health issue to use these flash drive.  But you need to have the power to control your own health.  Take control…be proactive and remain healthy!  Be the best you can be.

Check out this website:  These bands are excellent especially when you have a complex history and medical issues with Traumatic Brain Injury, Spinal Cord Injury, Chronic Illness (Physical and/or Mental).  If there is an emergency will you have all the answers you need while under stress?  With this flash drive you will.

The cost of a single bracelet is: $20.00.  They are colorful, comfortable, electronic flash-drive medical bracelets and are waterproof.  They come in Black, Gray, Blue, Pink, Green.  Sizes include:  x-small, small, medium, large, and x-large.  These sizes fit children through adults.  Flash drives already have the program installed.  Simply insert into a computer and fill in the information.

WE NEED TO EDUCATE HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONALS…they aren’t aware of these bracelets. What is really scary…if they don’t know about simple bracelets that save lives, how are we going to educate about traumatic brain injuries?  We can start small.  Every EMT, Fire and Police Department and every Emergency Room should be aware of these bracelets and how they work.   I have not come across one healthcare professional that was aware of these bracelets in the past two years I’ve had mine and that’s scary!  And I have been working with incredible and knowledgable healthcare professionals in the recent years. Spread the word…it is everyone’s responsibility to bring awareness to all health issues and findings.

These can be especially helpful for mothers of young children.  Mother’s can simply leave it in their purse and keep it updated.  When the children are grown they will always have their health records at their figure tips.  This could save lives, especially when it comes to medications and allergies.  Who can remember all this in a crisis?  Keep an updated flash drive in the glove compartment of the car.  You never know when you’ll need it!

Another Must Read Book for those with Mild Traumatic Brain Injury is:

Over My Head.  A Doctor’s Own Story of Head Injury from the Inside Looking Out. by Claudia L. Osborn 1998.

If you have a brain injury, or any type of issue with brain dysfunction or mental illness you can identify with this physician of her daily struggles.  I came across this book from her initial writing in a magazine a dear friend brought to me.  She thought the book was written about me.  This is also a great read and I would highly recommend it for traumatic brain injury survivors and their families.  I’ve had several members of my family read it, and they all thought it was helpful in understanding brain injuries.  Of course, there are always those who are not interested in reading or learning, and we can not change those individuals, but we can encourage them!

Let’s keep educating others.  We can’t spread the understanding without education!  This is for everyone to help them take and keep control of their HEALTH, HEALTHCARE, and LIFE!


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7 responses to “Tips to take control of your health and healthcare needs

  1. Éowyn

    March 16, 2012 at 12:45 pm

    Reblogged this on Éowyn Rides Again and commented:
    During my journey through brain injury, I have DEFINITELY learned how important it is to take charge of one’s own healthcare. If I had not started researching my condition on my own, I shudder to think where I would be now. Brain Injury Self Rehab has an excellent summary of how to be your own best advocate in the health care system.

  2. Éowyn

    March 16, 2012 at 12:46 pm

    The medical bracelet thing looks VERY interesting. How easy is it to add new information as you go along? Does it have only basic info, or can it also hold doctors’ charting information and notes?

    • brain injury self rehabilitation (BISR)

      March 16, 2012 at 1:09 pm

      I will get back to you on the specifics. It is easy to use…connect up and fill in. You can insert the name of your own medical tests, add dates for specific exams, and a place for results. I’m not sure on the doctor’s charting and notes…but I will check and get back to you. I just got a new computer and learning one thing at a time. If you have any further questions I will be happy to look up the answers. I’m trying to share what works best for me…and will help others along the way.

      • brain injury self rehabilitation (BISR)

        March 16, 2012 at 5:38 pm

        Thank you for asking specific information. I sent out an additional post that included specific information that pertains to the medical bracelet. I thought this might be helpful to other people as well. I appreciate you asking.

  3. Maria Tatham

    March 18, 2012 at 11:17 pm

    Good job, Edie, on helping with this needed education! You’re a good nurse and advocate.

  4. a BUMP to the HEAD

    March 19, 2012 at 6:30 pm

    A fascinating piece of information. The bracelet is a great idea & should be something that all practitioners promote.


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