Sometimes it takes an unpleasant and overwhelming crisis to force us into action. My daughter’s ongoing health crisis, coupled with my former chronic illness, motivated me to create a Health and Wellness Binder. It would take six years of looking into the faces of practitioners before I put pen to paper.
But I finally did it.
A valuable resource evolved out of a nagging need.
Anxiously, I wait in the examination room ready to meet the renown pediatric endocrinologist. The thick file folder that contains my daughter’s health records bulges with years of receipts and lab work results.
I feel unprepared and scattered.
To occupy my mind during the wait, I study the laminated poster of the endocrine system. It’s a complicated and mysterious network of vital glands. My daughter’s folder full of unanswered questions attests to that.
After what seems like an eternity, the physician hurriedly enters the room. His rapid speech and medical jargon swirl in my head like a swarm of angry bees.
He looks at my frightened twelve-year-old and serves up the words and phrases obese, heart condition, drink diet coke, then waits for her to verbally volley back.
Confused and wary, she returns a half-smile.
I scribbled my questions on the back of an ATM receipt because I just read that “the mean time a patient was allowed to talk before being interrupted by the practitioner was 18 seconds.” Although I am not his patient, I am my daughter’s spokesperson.
Remembering a quote from Malcolm Gladwell’s book Blink, where he apprises that humans seem hardwired to size up people and situations with amazing rapidity.”
I conclude that the mechanic who repairs my car offers more engagement and compassion than this health-care practitioner.
We leave the appointment discouraged and laden with more forms and a nutrition protocol.
The Benefits of a Health and Wellness Binder
My daughter’s health records continue to expand, but the Wellness Binder helps me to be an organized advocate.
Creates Shared Authority
Maintaining a record of your health history will provide vital medical information when you meet with your practitioner.
Who knows more about you than…you? Who knows more about your child than…you?
You become a well-informed advocate when you have all of the critical documents in front of you. Using your health and wellness history, you can help facilitate conversations with health-care providers.
Allows you to track your progress or lack of progress
Health and wellness is a journey. Throughout your journey, you may find that a specific protocol did not work. It helps to detail the prescribed protocol so that during your next office visit, you can share the observations with your practitioner.
Use the wellness binder to record specific prescriptions, dosages, supplements, therapies, eating plans, and any other pertinent information regarding your protocol.
During my battle with Lyme Disease, I noticed that my energy level improved when I used the Lyme Disease eating plan. I shared this with my Lyme physician, so we continued to incorporate the eating plan with my protocol.
Take an active role in your wellness
If you are anything like me, by the time the physician/PA/NP starts to unravel a diagnosis or recommendation, my mental energy barometer tilts toward “overload.”
A doctor’s visit reminds me of a wooden gerbil maze. The maze begins the moment you enter the office, then one door leads to another level of the visit.
It’s important to take an active role in your health and well-being. Having your medical information readily available is a proactive way to foster a relationship with your practitioner.
Photo: Abby Anaday
Be in the know
Filling out medical history forms is routine at every office visit. A typical and essential question on the form is “what supplements are you currently taking.” Whenever I get to this question, it never fails that my mind goes blank. I remember a few of the supplements, but not all of them.
Now, with the wellness binder, I refer to the supplements/prescription page to gather the necessary information.
Organizing your health and wellness records is important
You can better convey your concern about a specific health issue when all of your information is in one place and current.
Soulful Healthy Living Health and Wellness Binder:
- Wellness Page
- Exercise Log
- Healthcare Practitioner Page
- Journal Template
- Soulful Healthy Living Log
- Meal Plan Template
- Body Therapy Page
- Life Goals: professional/recreational/spiritual/educational
- Bonus DIY Cleaner Recipe Template
Wellness Binder Sneak Peek
Suggested ways to organize your binder:
Create a separate binder for every member of your family. Print the necessary templates, then insert them in a 1″ three-ring binder.
Organize a family wellness binder using a 3″ three-ring binder. Add dividers and label a section for each member of your family.