geekery, drawing and then some

Posts for October 30, 2010

Making my own medical file

Because of the crazy amount of medical data I have and have to deal with I decided I needed my own medical files. Not in the least because it seems to impress doctors when you slap your file on their desk and make it clear you know exactly what happened and what medication you take and what side-effects they cause.

To make my medical file, I used Scrivener, MultiMarkdown and eventually LaTeX.

First, I started out with a structure that made sense:

  1. Conditions (my various illnesses)
  2. Medication 2.1. current medication 2.1.1. prescribed 2.1.2. unprescribed 2.2. historic medication 2.2.1. prescribed 2.2.2. unprescribed
  3. Medical contacts 3.1. doctors 3.2. hospitals 3.3. pharmacy 3.4. insurance
  4. Surgeries
  5. Log
  6. Diagnostics

Then, for each of the these parts I made a folder in Scrivener and put files in it for each section or subsection. In 'Log' and 'Diagnostics' I put a folder for each year, and a file for each incident.

Using MultiMarkdown I could easily make the tables for my blood-tests in 'Diagnostics', and refer to different sections of the document. I put it all in Scrivener because that way I can keep important files in my Research folder and easily refer to those.

With the new 'Folder Sync' feature in Scrivener 2.0 I can easily sync all the files to a folder and transfer that to my EEE1. I can either bring the EEE along with visits or a printed copy (or both, because with the EEE I can easily add new info to any of the files on the spot -- saves me a lot of writing it down and then typing it in later).

Because MultiMarkdown easily converts to PDF (through LaTeX) I have a fancy printable file with a coversheet, an index, my name and the date printed on each page, and a table of contents. All of this automatically, no fiddling with layout and such required after the initial set-up.

It took me quite some time and energy to make this file, but I feel really good about it. I have a better idea of what we have tried already and when I visited who and when my last blood-tests were (need to get that vit. D checked again).

It also showed me I have roughly one hospital visit every two weeks (average for the last five years). Wow!

  1. In case you wonder, I created an encrypted container with a crazy long password for the medical info so no-one can accidentally see it or access it should I lose my EEE.