It could easily be the start of a new Dr. Seuss book: “Your health…here, there and everywhere!”
You could read that one line so many ways:
Your health happens here, there and everywhere.
Your health involves places here, there and everwhere.
Do you know the details of your health – here, there and everywhere?
You need to be healthy here, there and everywhere.
You get the idea! Your health is part of you and travels about with you where ever you go. Even though it doesn’t always make itself visible, it makes its presence known by how you feel. When your health is good, you feel good. When your health is so-so, your not at your best.
We need to dress our health for the day just like we do our body for the weather. Unlike bodies the require clothes, our health status requires information, and sometimes even medication.
This month, let’s tune into those special areas a health status needs to, well, be healthy!
1.Your Health: Nuts, Bolts & Bandaids
This week, take a moment and ask yourself a few simple questions:
1. When did we all have checkups?
2. Is each member of my family up to date on our necessary immunizations?
3. Do I know vital information for each family member such as current weight, height, medication list (drug name and dose)?
4. Can I rattle off the past medical history of my immediate family?
5. Do you know the numbers of your family doctor, dentist, orthodontist?
6. Do you know the names and doses of all medications your family members take? These can be hard to keep tabs of so write them down and include over the counter medications such as vitamins, pain relievers, allergy medications, rash treatments – and anything else someone in your home uses regularly.
This is the week you are going to organize all of these nuts and bolts – write them all down. If you want to get really fancy, computerize them! You can use a simple word document, Excel spread sheet or online health record through your insurance company, doctor’s office or Google Health or Microsoft’s Health Vault.
One of the advantages of using an online personal health record is you can access it 24/7 anywhere in the world. But, I’d suggest if you are traveling you bring a printed copy to have in a pinch of the essential snapshot of everyone’s health.
2. Health To Go (aka Travel Health)
Whether you are traveling to the corner store or on vacation, your health goes with you. Do you know the details? The further you travel from home, the more important it is to have those details at the tip of your tongue! Online health records are perfect for this purpose – see #1 above!
3. OnLine Health
When putting together your online health record, be sure to include a full snapshot of everyone’s vital data and dates for:
1. current health problems: names of conditions and medications (with doses)
2. past health issues and surgeries
3. Allergies to medications
4. current weight and height
5. last tetanus shot for all family members (full immunization records are best but tetanus is important to know when traveling in case of injury or cut)
6. all the answers to questions in #1 with important doctor phone numbers
7. in case of emergency contact number
4. In Case of Emergency
The last thing you need is for an emergency to occur and to discover that the person you thought was ‘reliable’ actually isn’t. Before you write down a name, talk to that person and be sure that person is up for being your emergency contact for you, your spouse and your kids.