Do you rely on memory for the MOST important things?

Today’s fast paced society places growing demands on our memory. The day to day chores of laundry, shopping, meal preparation, kids functions, homework, car and house maintenance, are just a drop in the bucket to what’s on the “to do” list found on our refrigerator door, bathroom mirror, or somewhere in our head.

Recent years has brought new technology to make our life a little easier. The convenience of the ATM machine and now our best friend, “the computer”. But these do not come without some sacrifice. More memory space… and I don’t mean memory loaded on the computer. Our brains secretly store PIN numbers, security passwords, user identification, and the list goes on.

One stormy morning in January, 2001, my six year old was eating his breakfast and getting ready for school……

My son is a pleasant child who rarely complains; however, during the previous of day I noticed that he had limped a little when he walked. When I asked him why, he said his stomach hurt a bit and he kept on playing. He didn’t complain and I didn’t worry.

During breakfast, one day later, I asked him if his stomach still hurt. He said “yes, a little”. School was delayed because of the weather and for some reason I decided to take my son to the doctor just as a precaution (an hour drive). Our family doctor immediately sent us to the hospital for blood tests and a visit to the surgeon. Within a few hours, my six year old “baby” was in surgery having an appendectomy. The Surgeon later reported that the appendix was very bad and this was a good ending to what could have been a bad situation.

The issue I would like to focus here is that with all a parent has to remember, how prepared are we when faced with such situations. Aside from dealing with an ill child, I was questioned at the hospital concerning symptoms, medical history, medication, allergies and the list go on. The administrators were asking for the hospital card, insurance information, and other such details. The surgeon was quickly requiring my signature to grant permission to operate. The anesthetist needed accurate information immediately. My husband was out of town and I was alone. I was however, relieved that after taking a deep breath, I could present all information with confidence. I had previously organized and recorded such information in his Personal Medical Journal. Thank goodness, this time, I didn’t have to rely upon memory.

Maintaining a record of your child’s health may make a significant contribution to his/her quality of life. It can also make your life less stressful. Start today.

Dianne Duffett is Author of “Help Your Doctor Help You with your Personal Medical Journal”