In my Financial Planning Guide, I included three other planning considerations. One of these was "Document Everything." I mentioned that it is very important because you tend to forget or misplace things as the months and years pass. All of this information will become important as you begin the application processes for Social Security-Disability and short/long-term disability insurance. It will also be useful in justifying the need for mobility equipment (canes, walkers, scooters, wheelchairs, etc.). In addition, if you ever move or have to change doctors, having your medical history in one location is an excellent way to update people on your condition and other health considerations.
You need to document everything related to your experiences with Kennedy's Disease including test results and doctor's visits. Ask your doctors for copies of all examinations and tests. Set up a spreadsheet that records all of your falls and injuries (date, at work or home, reason, injuries, etc.). If you do not want to use a spreadsheet, just keep track on a piece of paper. Incorporate all this information into a three ring binder with tabbed sections.
My "Fall History" became an excellent tool when reviewing issues with my doctor as well as my Social Security – Disability (SS-D) advocate and the long-term disability insurance contact. I have also used it so support specific needs with Medicare and my supplemental health insurance provider.
What you want to document in the Fall History spreadsheet is up to you, but I would recommend that at a minimum you track:
- Where the fall occurred (Office, Traveling, Home)
- What happened (Stumble, lost balance, fell backwards, knees buckled, etc.)
- Was there an injury
- Type of injury
- Explanation (A brief comment on what happened)
- When did it happen (Work or personal time)
- Time of day (Morning, afternoon, evening)
The "Medical Tests History" is another way to capture important information and easily compare results over several years. This spreadsheet is also an excellent tool when reviewing your medical history with doctors, SS-D advocates and disability insurance contacts.
What you capture on this spreadsheet comes off the blood test results. Always ask your doctor for a copy. I would recommend you track:
- Type of test
- Normal Range
- Actual results
Part II of this subject will cover other important information that you should keep in the binder.