Playbook of Recovery

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THE PLAYBOOK OF RECOVERY WAS USED BY THE SLYE FAMILY DURING AJ’S BATTLE WITH CANCER.  WE HOPE THAT YOU FIND IT HELPFUL TOO!

The treatment for any type of condition is often long and involves various doctors’ specialties, treatment facilities, clinics, medicines, and equipment.  Hopefully most of the treatments, hospital stays, tests and medications are paid for by the individual’s health care insurance.  Patients are asked for a variety of medical insurance information from the moment they arrive at a doctor’s office.  Most have their medical card with them, but probably don’t know much about the terms of their insurance.  FIND OUT NOW!

At the same time, generally under emotional stress, families begin to receive information concerning the condition of their loved one.  This information is often fragmentary and incomplete but it is an indication of tests, procedures and timeframes to come.  To fight this disease, people not only have to want to get better, they need to have an organized approach to the process.  In our healthcare field today, modern medical technology is truly miraculous, but doctors and nurses are specialists, overworked and simply don’t have the time to consult with other doctors who are also treating the patient.  Someone else has to take responsibility for managing the patient’s treatment process.  That person is generally a spouse, a parent or an adult child.  Yes, you can retain a patient’s advocate, but it is both costly (not paid for by insurance) and they represent multiple individuals.  You have to take management responsibility!

Collect business cards from every doctor, treatment center, pharmacy, etc.  Date each of them as you receive them.  Using the note cards, jot down pertinent contact information, cell phones, etc.  Completely fill out the primary contact sheet.  Do the same for the notification sheet.  Families, friends, and workers both need and want to know what is going on.  Be proactive.  Establish a small group that you give progress reports to and let them tell others.  Create a group email list for weekly update.  If you don’t, you won’t be able to manage the incoming calls.

Depending on the condition, the patient will be under the primary care of one specialist, but almost certainly, other doctors will be called in.  It is critical that you LISTEN to what each doctor says and RECORD the information given at each appointment or consultation.  Especially in the hospital room. The value of the book is finessing the flow of information between and among the medical profession.   ASK each doctor to read the notes from other doctors concerning both treatment and medications.  Record what happens after each treatment.  This is especially important for the various medicines that will be prescribed.   Keep a complete record for each doctor and show the other doctors. (Keep a medication form in each doctor’s section)  Drug interaction can be life threatening.

The types of information that is listed on these pages are familiar to all who have visited a doctor. Unfortunately, there seems to be a growing need for a book like this and the need to take charge of your own medical treatment. Use this book; you’ll be glad that you did.

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