A lot of various things have dug up an old wound for me, the death of my daughter Emma. From my class lectures on genetic disorders to old friends inquiring how I got to be “greenbaby-nyc,” while the memory is painful, the clear thing the resonates with me these reminders is the importance of keeping a good medical history. In an ideal world you’d grow up with the same doctor your entire life, then you probably wouldn’t have to keep good medical records. If you’re like me, you’ve had several, if not many doctors in your lifetime. Just think about it—your pediatrician, your doctor growing up, the doctor you saw in college, dermatologist, your gyn, your ob/gyn ... if you’ve had surgeries, add in your surgeons, anesthesiologists, etc. When asked at yet another doctor’s office to fill out their basic medical history forms, I often struggle with remembering when I had which surgery, what drugs were used, what medication was I prescribed (not that they make the names very easy to memorize!). Other times I just plain forget. I’ve done that once or twice, in one instance it proved to be vital information in putting together an action plan for my pregnancy.
I recently purchased two copies of Jennifer Daley Cofield’s HealthTracks: A Child’s Health History for Ava and the hopeful second baby I’d like to have soon ... I love that it has sections for different age brackets, plenty of room for notes you might take at each doctor’s visit, contact information for the various doctors they might encounter in life, as well as the many medical insurance plans they might have growing up (that would just be interesting to see over time wouldn’t it?). As your child grows up they can take that book with them. I do wish that the book was a binder with optional additional pages that could be bought. Some children have extended medical histories that need those extra pages. It’s a great start though ... and there are many other options out there including HealtheTracks.com which is the online version of the book as well as Microsoft’s Health Vault. So do this one thing for your child and someday they might thank you when it proves to be an invaluable book of information.