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Seniors blog

There when I needed it!
Tuesday, July 21, 2009 | Julie Wolter
 

It was a beautiful day to travel.  We started early so we could get there and enjoy as much of the daylight as possible.  Unfortunately, that did not occur.  I started feeling my world spin during the drive.  We were in urgent care that night just down the road from our hotel.  As I sat in the wheelchair being registered I was worried about how my boys were handling the situation.  They had never seen their mom like this.  They kept holding my hand and asking if I needed anything.  I tried to tell them I would be fine, but it was difficult since my world was spinning. 

My husband was not doing well either.  He is a worrier.  He frets if anything is wrong with the boys or myself.  I wanted to make sure he was fine.  (I’m a mom/wife so of course I am going to worry about them more than me!)  I answered all the registration questions and my husband got the insurance cards and co-pay ready.  My only thought was making sure my family was not worried.  Notice I didn’t say I was worried about my health information.  I had that covered.  In my wallet was a list of my doctors, current medications and conditions.  I felt confident that if I couldn’t remember my health information that my husband knew where to look.  It gave me a sense of peace knowing that I could concentrate on my family at that point.
 
Everything turned out fine.  I was sent back to my hotel with a diagnosis of vertigo and instructions on how to deal with this condition.  It was later in the evening that I reflected on the experience.  It was an emotional time for all of us.  I was worried about my family and they were worried about me.  We were in a different state quite a few miles from home and it was after 6 pm.  I realized that if I was unable to provide information to aid in my care it could have lengthened my visit to the urgent care.  My doctor’s office was closed and his records were in his office not at his home. Would we have to wait until the next day when the office was open for that information?  Would I have been transferred to the nearby hospital?  Would they have treated me without that information?  Lots of questions ran through my mind.  I was just glad that what I had was simple and I could provide all the necessary answers about my health.

Traveling with your personal health record is so important.  You never know when you will need it and how important it will be for your care.  So, don’t forget to pack your own PHR when you travel.  It will give you peace of mind just as it did for me.

Health Information I included in my traveler’s PHR:

1.  Emergency Contact - remember to include someone outside of your family just in case they are traveling with you.
2.  List of current physicians - address and phone number
3.  Current list of medications - prescription and over-the-counter
4.  Current list of conditions - what are you currently dealing with
5.  List of allergies
6.  Any other information you would like them to know about you.

It doesn’t have to be a large record.  You want current information that would be relevant to your care.


Tags   personalhealthrecord, phr, healthinformation, emergency, travelers, vertigo


About This Blog

Welcome to the Traveler’s PHR blog – a communication forum and social network to connect you with health information management professionals and other travelers for the exchange of ideas and information for managing your personal health information to prepare for the best healthcare while traveling. If you ever wondered what might happen if you get sick or even became unconscious while traveling outside of your home town and what you might do to prepare for such an event, then you’re in the right place. As this blog grows, we invite you to share your own advice and travel stories and learn from other travelers about their experiences.

Blog Contributors

Marsha Dolan, Valerie Watzlaf, Cindy Boester, Heidi Shaffer, Julie Wolter, Margaret Hennings, Colleen Goethals, Vera Rulon, Leah Grebner, Robert Caban, Mynilma Olivera-Vazquez, Amanda Bushey, Margie Kelly, Donna DuLong, Sarah Dietze, Valisha McFarlane, Maria Kovell, Ted Eytan, Leann Reynolds, Laura Heuer, Kristin Stewart, Derek Allen, Chris Matthies, Margo Corbett, Craig Newmark, Sarah Buelterman, Skyler Tanner, Aniruddha Malpani, Joan Malling, Marilyn McFarlane, Megan Rooney, Patrick Rhone, Dr. Carrie Nelson, Maria Bouselli, Erin Jordan

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