Medical planning

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One great idea to come out of our survey: a specialized treatment planner for people with cancer and/or other long-term illnesses.

A nice planner (NOT PINK) with large easy to read dates, days of the week like a Septanote but with Notes at the bottom and at the back. Something that feels great in the hand, inspires and doesn’t remind one of Cancer (or heart disease, etc).

A list of Doctor’s names, phone numbers, emails and addresses, as well as blank notes. Even blank notes at the end of each month would be handy… Needs a pocket in the front to hold business cards of doctors and insurance card.

What do you think? If you had (or have) to deal with a long-term illness, would you want to use a dedicated planner for it?

5 thoughts on “Medical planning

  1. I’ve been thinking about a possible format to help people track daily meds, exercise/ PT, etc.

    I’m thinking a weekly format with 8 columns, 4 columns per page, one column for each day of the week plus one column BEFORE Monday. In this front column you could write your meds schedule, daily exercise/PT, and anything else that has to be taken, done or checked each day.

    Then you could just go across the daily columns and check each thing off or record the numbers in each day’s column as it’s done, without having to re-write the reminders each day.

    This would also be very useful for caretakers, especially when more than one person is caring, to be able to see what meds have already been given/ what has already been done that day and what is yet to be done, to avoid miscommunication. Also it serves as a record for future reference.

    This 8-column format would be good for anyone, even if they are not tracking meds etc. Weekly goals could be written into the column at the beginning of the week, and checked off or recorded in the daily columns to track goal progress.

    Below the daily columns, open or lined space for notes and lists.

    Maybe a chart at the back of the book with a line per week to record weight/ blood pressure or other trends.

    A removable address book, maybe also with some lined notes pages, would be a great place to record doctor’s and insurance info. Also in this book it would be nice to have an undated future-years planner of some sort to record when the user or family members are due for vaccine boosters, follow-up checks, to plan surgery or other long-term treatment.

    And please, monthly calendars! It’s much easier to see doctor’s appointments and other scheduling in a month view, as well as symptom trends and other medical timelines as Ginigin mentioned.

    And I agree, 6 x 9 inches would be a good size. It needs to be about the size of the Trinote or smaller, because larger than that is too big for portability. This planner would have to go everywhere: to the doctor’s, to work, home, kids’ activities etc. I know it’s a tall order to have this much detail in a portable planner!

    Thanks, as always, for listening to your customers!

  2. What a good idea. I use my weekly planner to help manage the severe allergy that I have and think that a dedicated planner for long term illness is a good idea. Having areas to record doctors and hospitals details would be very useful, as would spaces for drug regimes and test results etc. Having some kind of wallet or pocket for storing medical cards, insurance cards and the like would also be peachy. If Clairefontaine is going to take this up as a viable idea, please could you make it as international as possible? A place to record NHS number and Hospital Number would be darned useful for the UK and probably Europe too, in a similar format. Also a place to record the insurance number for reciprocal arrangements by government health authorities is useful if you’re well enough to travel (the old E111 in the UK). Oh, I could go on…

    But I won’t. Like many of the other contributors here, please don’t make it a “trendy” colour for one group of illnesses. Rather, make it dull. Most of us don’t want to advertise the fact that we’re ill and a dull cover makes it less attractive to thieves too. Oh, and size? Probably at least 6×9 for the very reasons that Mr Irwin describes above.

    No doubt about it; a good idea. I’d buy one.

  3. I have Lyme disease and used the Journal 21 for the past two years – found the monthly layouts great for tracking symptoms and the annual planner helped identify patterns in narcolepsy episodes. I recently had to put together a medical time line for another consult and that really made it easier. I’m using a week spread this year and if I don’t have a major relapse it will likely be big enough, but do miss that daily format. A five year journal of month a page spreads might be useful for medical tracking.

  4. Having just survived a year with 3 surgeries, I used a Journal 21 initially, then rolled over to an ABP-1. The sizes are good to fold in all those letter sized print-out prescriptions and letters giving appointment and clinic dates.

    One suggestion you might think about is a horizontal elastic to hold all those slips in. I tried using one of your elastic rulers, but it was harder to keep the ruller in horizontally than vertically.

    Lots of graph or dot style pages, perhaps even pull out sections so that records can be changed and updated without running out of paper. And a good number of blank pages at the front so we can keep our patient numbers [which Mayo Clinic uses to track patients], surgeon’s cell phone, drug lists, ALLERGY lists, important phone numbers for record offices, billing offices, labs, etc.

    Not so different from regular calendars. And selling inserts separately [and reasonably], would let us adjust to our calendars.

    I initially tried a smaller pocket size [Rhodia weekly], but simply couldn’t cram enough information into the pages. Especially not once I had to log the shots I had to give myself, BP, and all those personal body functions. Small simply didn’t work for me.

    And yes, our lives continue on in spite of the upset, so we still need the regular calendar functions.

    Concur with NO funky, trendy cover colors.

    Deep pockets for tracking all the appointment cards we have to hang onto would be great as well. My current stack is nearly half an inch with a rubber band wrapped around it!

  5. Love this idea. Please don’t make it pink, or red, or whatever other color is a fashionable reminder of our disease. It doesn’t even have to be about diseases and cures at all, but about getting and staying as healthy as we can.

    I’ve ended up making my own, since most planners are only helpful for scheduling. I prefer something in loose-leaf for this (so that I can add test results and the like), but for running around town, I need something that’s light and can be incorporated into the rest of my life.

    Here’s what I’ve found useful for me:

    A page for medical history and/or prescription drugs, and info about insurance and flex accounts, etc. That way we can always have those details available when we schedule appointments, errands, etc., as well as for new doctors and the like. A place to record blood pressure, blood counts, blood sugar, home exercises for PT, or maybe enough pages to use as a log for these things. Lots of blank pockets to hold prescriptions, referrals, etc., for transport, until they can get into a more permanent file.

    And, BTW – don’t forget that lot of us with majro illnesses and complex treatments also still have full time jobs, volunteer and community life, and families . . . so we need to keep tracking all of the same info we needed a planner for in the first place!

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