While prevention is the best medicine, the second best might be actively taking care of yourself when sick.
Hospitals who enact policies to educate patients on caring for themselves (especially if they have a serious illness) find that those patients are far less likely to get readmitted. While that’s important to hospitals as they get penalized under the new healthcare laws for boomerang patients, it’s far more valuable to the patient.
Being sick sucks—and if you have to go to the hospital, that’s added time, expense, inconvenience… and risk of infection (just by being a patient in a hospital you have a 5% risk of infection).
So what are these techniques?
First, keep track of your doctor’s recommendations. And don’t just trust your memory—actually write them down. Even better, if you’re comfortable using your smartphone, get an app that functions like a tape recorder and get your doctor’s instructions so you have them verbatim. Then follow them—figure out whatever works to help you remember (take medicine daily? put it by your toothbrush, etc.).
Next, share that info with all your care providers. Get your primary care physician and any complementary care providers on board with your care strategy.
Here are some questions you should keep track of:
-What symptoms/side effects should I watch out for?
-Which symptoms do I need to call about?
-What symptoms should I go to the ER for?
-What should I do if I forget a dose of medicine?
-What can’t I mix with my medication?
Share your thoughts in the comments: