I suppose a blog could go a lot of ways with a title like this. I’m actually talking about literally keeping it all together - as in your child’s medical files. If you have a kiddo dealing with more than common childhood bumps, bruises, breaks and illnesses, keeping track of all the information from labs, meds and doctors can be a real feat. If you don’t have all of the right information at the right time, it can cause some hold ups in the process of helping your child get the care that he or she may need. So let’s talk ideas on how to do our best to keep it together.
Not all - and we get that - but most of us have some form of device that can take a photo and store it. We typically carry that thing around with us all, if not most, of the time. If you have a smartphone or a tablet, you can capture images of your child’s paperwork and keep them in folders that are easily accessible. You can carry these to any and every appointment and have it right there with you at check ins or when visiting with the provider. This can also be a plus when trying to make appointments. GoogleKeep is one of those apps, among others, that help organize photos and give a place for notes, lists and sharing. This capability can be great if one parent takes a kiddo to one appointment because it fits her schedule and the next appointment fits his - with the shared documents, it will all be right there for whoever needs it.
For those of us who still love our paper - hand raised high here! - there are some great tips and tools out there for compiling medical information into notebooks and journals. If this works better for you and you can remember to carry it with you, be sure to always keep it updated. If you need tabs to help you keep things organized, like “medications” or “lab work” or a doctor, this can help you quickly find what you need when you need it. You can leave space in here with places you can take notes when you’re on the phone or in an appointment. This route can be handy if a copy needs to be made.
But How Do I Get It?
Sometimes it can be a challenge to get records for various reasons. It can be a challenge sometimes for records to get passed around to the different offices that may need them, so if you can get your hands on a copy (paper or digital) that can help with some of the communication challenges. You have a right to your child’s records. You can call the provider’s office or stop in or get a copy mailed to you. In a perfect world all of the technology and exchanges of information would run smoothly and on time. And we all know that we don’t live in that world. It is ok to make sure you have what you need from your child’s medical records in order to coordinate care with other providers. Errors may happen for a myriad of reasons, so gently stick to your guns and make sure that you have everything because you, as the parent/guardian of your child, will always be the hub of information in each appointment (or phone call).
However you find a system that works for you, be sure to keep it all together. It will save you some headaches and keep communication open and more clear with your child’s providers as you all do your best to meet the needs of your child on his/her medical journey. For more tips or tricks or support in gathering and storing your child’s medical records, please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 307-333-1273 and I’d be happy to help!
You want to give back to a cause that has impacted you, you want to better your community or you just want to be a part of a cause that is doing important work- but maybe you want to do more than just write a check…
Here are some fun ideas that help you help your cause of choice that goes beyond just a transaction.
10,000 Steps Challenge: The 10,000 step challenge requires participants to walk 10,000 steps a day for a length of time (e.g. a week or a month). Have your supporters accept pledges on how long they’ll last and have them monitor their steps (on their phones or Fitbits).
Community Serve-a-thon: Choose a volunteer activity that will benefit the community as a whole (e.g. raking leaves or park/beach clean-up) and ask friends and family members to pledge money to the individuals or teams in support of their work. Donate these funds to your favorite organization- talk about double the impact!!
Host a Yard Sale: Go around your neighborhood and ask for donations of items your neighbors are willing to part with and host a fundraiser yard sale where all proceeds are donated to your cause. Not only can people clean out their unused items, but you can make a huge difference while doing so. To make a greater impact consider asking a group of friends (or your church/community group) to do it with you so you can have more items.
Host a Parents-Night-Out: Every parent needs a night out every once in a while. If you have a space to be able to host a gaggle of kids, charge parents a fee (either hourly or a flat rate) for your babysitting services. Recruit a few friends so you can watch even more children and raise more funds. Make sure to have some fun events planned for the kids. A good time would be Valentine’s or just before Christmas when parents do their Christmas shopping.
Give it Up Challenge: Challenge friends and family to join you in giving up an everyday or weekly indulgence and donate the cost instead. This could be a daily coffee order, eating out, afternoon vending machine snack, etc. They can keep a log of how many times they give it up and donate that amount at the end of the challenge or they can donate every time to a peer to peer campaign so they stay honest throughout the challenge.
Host a Fun Run: People love signing up for a race to challenge them physically, but when coupled with benefitting a good cause, all the better. Add a fun twist to your run to make it stand out from all the other races: zombie run, turkey trot, color run, etc. Charge an admission fee which will be donated to your favorite charity.
Flash Mob: Pick a song, come up with choreography, and choose a location. Teach the choreography to a group of volunteers/friends. During the flash mob, have someone ask the observers for free-will donations.
Host a face-painting booth at a local event or race and ask for donations for each painted face. There are tons of races happening during the summer months so try contacting the event organizer and see if you they will waive the booth fee so your donation can be greater!
Run a Dog Wash: forget the traditional car wash fundraiser, people are definitely willing to pay to have their dogs washed so they don’t have to do it themselves.
Not only will you be helping your favorite organization by donating funds, you’ll also be helping spread awareness about the cause and the good they do. That may be equally as important for nonprofits as the financial gain. Make sure to reach out to your organization of choice so they can provide materials to hand out and help promote your event with their constituents.
However you choose to support your favorite cause, thank you for helping make this world a better place and by spreading some joy while doing so.
Empathy. What is this? The ability to understand and share the feelings of another. The definition in itself is pretty simple looking. You feel sad, I feel sad. You mad? Let's be mad together. But when it comes to empathy or being an empath, there are so many aspects others may not realize. Empathy is a huge concept. Before we dig deeper into this, I want you to understand that empathy is NOT the same as sympathy. Many get them mixed up. What is the difference between empathy and sympathy? Sympathy involves understanding from your own perspective. Empathy involves putting yourself in the other person's shoes and understanding WHY they may have these particular feelings.
If you are unsure whether or not you are an empath, here are some traits typically found with empathy.
Empaths are not meant to be sponges or enablers, they are simply for help, support and guidance. During the holidays so many get extra stress from extra purchases, or they are missing a lost loved one deeply. Throughout these times of year, friends and family need the extra support. If you find yourself helping more, and really aren’t sure how to keep up with it all, here are some tips to help make the process easier on you.
1. Make your overall health and wellness a priority.
Don’t let taking care of others stop you from caring for yourself. Find activities that replenish your reserves and find ways to incorporate them into your schedule. Read a good book. Set aside time to pray or meditate. Listen to a soundtrack that soothes you. Take your dog on a walk or keep up with a regular exercise routine. Allow yourself some time to decompress and be alone when you need it. These little investments in your health can make a big difference.
2. Don’t be ashamed of your big heart.
Your empath traits make you a compassionate person and a cherished friend. Your ability to connect with the emotions of others is a blessing. But it will require awareness so you don’t become overly immersed in the emotional highs and lows of others. Be gentle with yourself as you navigate tough emotions and situations.
3. Remind yourself that saying no is not selfish.
Boundaries are important and can help prevent burnout. We all have a limited amount of time and resources to give. You can’t help everyone at all times. Be gracious with yourself as you decide what you’re able to handle and when you may need to step away or pass on something.
4. Allow yourself time to recharge and regroup.
Rest is so vital. Be honest when you are at max capacity. It may feel unnatural at first, and you’ll want to give people rationalizations, but knowing your limits and making your mental health a priority is nothing to be ashamed of.. Empaths often need time to be alone and recenter. Giving yourself blocks of time by yourself to recuperate is probably one of the most important things to remember.
Don’t forget. Just as you have a heart for helping others, there are people ready to help you, too. Please, if you are struggling, do not be afraid to ask for help. Sometimes we need tools to help us process our emotions or a trusted friend or counselor to listen. It takes strength to let someone in and evaluate when you may need additional assistance.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.