My “little red folder”
Have trouble remembering your spouse’s birthday? Well, how well do you know the prescriptions and over-the-counter medications they take? Surgeries, which leg and when? Food allergies? If the world went to heck, do you know what their final wishes are?
We keep a red folder — red because it says “urgent.” It has been invaluable after calling an ambulance to know where that folder is — and to grab it. I take the information with me when I travel.
We update it regularly, because life changes. If my blood pressure goes down, I downsize my dosages (working with my doc).
The folder includes — a list of surgeries, injuries, findings of significant medical events, dates and doctors involved. It includes lists of prescribed medications — dosages, etc. What kinds of vitamins and supplements we take. What foods (cinnamon, ginger), medications (non-steroidal anti-inflammatories) and items (laytex bandages) might cause us problems.
And it includes a signed advanced directive.
Some people have found it useful to put a “red folder” onto their flash drives or on some paid Internet site. I’ve heard some horror stories of data filching, and some tales of doctors/clinics saying they have to write everything down — no gizmos. That will change in some more secure, IT nirvana of the future.
But for now, if you’re not already doing it, why aren’t you in possession of a “red folder”? And for those who are, what more do you think I should have in mine?