Keep a note

I was doing some tidying up on the computer this morning - deleting old files and putting things in folders, which I don't do often enough. I came across some medical notes that I made back in 2012. At that time I was about to undergo aortic valve replacement but had also become increasingly unhappy with my cardiologist and the local hospital and was about to request a change.

Reading through the notes I made, which were part of my justification for the change of cardiologist and hospital, I realised how much I had forgotten. This was mostly nitty gritty stuff such as what was said by various doctors and technicians but it built a picture of inconsistency and uncertainty in the treatment that I was having for AF and my heart condition generally. They are the sort of facts that aren't usually included in letters to GPs and patients.

So, I'd advise everyone to keep notes of their own recollections or verbal information that is given. It can be difficult to question decisions or remember accurately several years later.

5 Replies

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  • Good advice Mrspat, it is easy to forget after a few years, as you say, and making notes for your own benefit and recollection is important and can also maybe point others in the right direction if appropriate. I've also found it invaluable to keep a folder of any and all medical notes, copies of ECGs, EP's letters etc, to take with me if and when I've had to go to A&E or get admitted to hospital, the medical staff appreciate any background information that helps them make a diagnosis or issue appropriate treatment.

  • Good advice to remember if you are not already doing such things.

  • Well posted! - I find a 'medical diary' helps the mental side as well, as just writing it down offloads the unconscious mind.

    PS I also have separate files on 'Ablation', 'Anti-coag' and several of the other key topics so I can collate all the valuable tips here and elsewhere and consult as and when I get to that stage.

  • I find that many of the things consultants say in their letters are very different to what I have told them. It becomes apparent even when comparing letters from the same one over months or years and they have come to had different conclusions.

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