"Keep a Spine Journal For Back Injuries"
Keeping a spine journal after incurring a back injury can be quite helpful. Sometimes even necessary. Especially as it relates to an injury that happened while at work or one that is the direct result of a motor vehicle accident (MVA).
Without keeping some detailed notes at the ready, we must rely completely on our long term memory for dates, times, places, events, and people we meet. Just to name a few! It can happen that very quickly our lives become confusing and details become blurred.
Your Spine Journal
Immediately after a physician’s appointment, spend a few minutes writing down all that you can remember about the encounter. What did he say about your condition? Did he order or want to order any special testing? When is your follow up visit scheduled? Anytime you can document these details about your case, you make it easier to stay on top of your care and remain organized. This will immediately become apparent to you six months after seeing the physician and you are able to better recall you conversation with him/her than they can with you!
Keep with your spine journal copies of any reports you can get your hands on. This includes physical therapy or chiropractic notes. The results of any MRI, EMG, CAT scans, and x-ray reports. Even go so far as to save appointment cards and receipts for any out of pocket expenses. You may eventually get reimbursed. Make photo copies of physician referrals or prescriptions for medication he/she has prescribed.
Keep a notepad by the phone and record telephone numbers and names of people who call you. Write down as much of the conversation as you can remember. You are not allowed to record another person unless you tell them they are going to be recorded ahead of time and they in turn give you permission. Be sure to check your local or federal laws to be sure!
Bottom line is don’t rely on anyone else to remember all the things about you and your lower back condition. This applies to you whether you are building a case or not. You must be your own best advocate when it comes to managing yourself and the things that might ultimately affect you financially.
As you keep detailed records and copies in your spine journal, it will be less likely that you will end up in a “he said, she said” argument. Most likely they will not be as prepared to pull out a trusty spine journal like you and produce some hard evidence.
By Tommy Hoffman, Licensed Physical Therapist