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A Health Information Management professional, I survived a life-threatening emergency with information that only a person of my professional experience would know. And I’m sharing it!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

5 Steps for Coping with Medical Crises!


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Secretaries from a medical office called me the other day. They keep a copy or two of my book in the waiting room. They happily reported that patients are in love with my book, which they read while waiting for the doctor to tend to them. "One lady said your book is helping her to survive the whole mess!" I heard.

The secretaries are letting patients saddened with their medical problems know that they can order my book online or order it from stores.

What about
seriously ill people
who are upset with
the soft spring season
that so mismatches
their unhappy emotions?

The Pesach/Passover holiday arrives next week. Other holidays abound around the world. And each one is hard to enjoy, if at all, when you or a loved one is facing a medical crisis.

You have a problem. My book can help to solve much of it.

Keep reading to learn about how to simplify the struggle into some manageable chunks ;^ )

How to Cope with Medical Crises
Five Steps for
Simplifying the Medical Care Monster

Reduce your stress. Simplify how you'll deal with your medical diagnosis and all the hard work it involves. Break what seems to be an overwhelming project into small, manageable tasks.

You're in shock.
Tears are flowing.
Tempers are flaring over
a medical diagnosis
about someone
important to you.

There's lots of work to do
and hardly any time for doing it!

Let's reduce your stress by
taming the medical monster
as much as possible.

Break this project into
5 manageable tasks.
Do each task one by one.

1. Buy a large dayplanner with: spaces for listing appointments; spaces for making daily and monthly notes; a plastic business card holder for inserting biz cards from each doctor, social worker and therapist you need; and a phone directory in which you can list friends to call for transportation to appointments, childcare help, a bit of reassurance from a friendly voice and anything else you care to add.

2. Each time you make an appointment with a doctor or therapist, immediately mark it down on the appropriate date in that dayplanner. Include that person's complete contact information: phone, cellphone and fax numbers, E-mail address and physical address.

If you're supposed to send them relevant information or bring it with you, jot down details in the same area where you noted the appointment. If you need more space, fill in the "Notes" area.

Then label a large manila or clear plastic folder with the words: For (Medical Professional's Name). Fill it with the requested information as you locate it: CDs, X-rays, medical reports, blood test results, whatever you've been asked for.

If you have questions for the professionals you're working with, list them in a separate notebook. Keep that notebook with your dayplanner at all times, especially when you're heading to the appointment(s). That way you'll read your remarks and remember what to ask instead of thinking "I forgot what to say!" before the appointment ends.

Ask for the medical professional's business card at each appointment. Place it in the plastic biz card holder of your dayplanner. Do your best to keep the cards in alphabetical order.

3. Make a list of helpful neighbors, friends and relatives on a blank sheet of lined paper. Create headings a few lines apart: Meals, Household Help, Kid Care, Shoulders to Cry On, and Transportation. Under each heading, list the names of the people who've agreed to do that task, plus their phone and cellphone numbers and E-mail address, Post that paper where you can easily see it: on a bulletin board, on the refrigerator, atop your night table in the bedroom, or on a desk.

As you fill up the page you'll notice the blank spots of jobs that still need doing. Ask someone you trust to help you to find out who can do that job for you while you focus on healing and coping with your emotions.

4. Take a time out every now and then to focus on what's going right! Breathe sighs of relief that the job list is filling in, that stuff is getting done, and that you're arriving to medical appointments as scheduled. Listen to music you enjoy, watch a video that fills you with happiness, and say something pleasant to each helpful person as they interact with you. Ask for back rubs, foot rubs, a massage or something desirable that people around you can easily provide.

5. Remember that this 5-Step Plan is an excerpt from my book. Click on
Buy Yocheved's Book. Learn about to How to Cope with Medical Crisis Even More.

PS - Halachically observant Jews can find Passover intimidating due to the unusual situation regarding medications at the holiday season. Here's a helpful site (in Hebrew) with comprehensive information regarding the kashrut (kosher status) of medication on Pesach (and throughout the year):

To your ever-improving coping skills,

Yocheved Golani
Coping with a Medical Crisis?
Make the Changes You Need in Your Life

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