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Archive for Saturday, October 13, 2001

Keeping current list of medications can be a lifesaver

October 13, 2001

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Dear Ann: Please tell your readers to keep a current medical history with them at all times. I used to do this but forgot to keep it updated and suddenly realized it would be of little use in case of emergency.

Last week, I typed up a list of all my medications, major or chronic illnesses I have had, a list of drugs to which I have had adverse reactions, plus the surgeries I've had done over the years, including cosmetic procedures. I then took the typed paper to a local copy store where it was reduced to a small but readable size. I had it laminated so it wouldn't disintegrate and placed it with my medical insurance card in my purse.

Talk about timing! Within three days, I was injured in a car accident and found myself in the emergency room. I was so shaken up I could barely remember my name, but I was able to give the hospital personnel that laminated card. What a relief it was to know they had all the information they needed to treat me properly.

Please tell your readers this small precaution could save their lives. Some people wear medical bracelets or necklaces to alert medical personnel to specific conditions. It doesn't matter what method works so long as it is used. And if folks aren't sure what information should be put on the card, they can ask their doctor or pharmacist. Judy in Evanston, Ill.

Dear Judy: Thank you for a letter that could mean the difference between life and death, and this is no exaggeration. I love my readers and want them to stay alive and well. Your input is deeply appreciated.

Dear Ann: My daughter has been seeing "Chuck" for over a year, and they are discussing marriage. Chuck's father is in the hospital and has been diagnosed with terminal cancer. I have never met the gentleman, but I am very fond of his son.

My daughter goes to the hospital every day to visit Chuck's father. Should I go, too? This is an awkward way to meet my daughter's future father-in-law, but he might not be around much longer, and I need to know what is proper. Please advise me. Uncomfortable in Canada

Dear Canada: This decision should be made by Chuck. Your daughter must ask him how he feels about such a visit. Chuck would be the best judge as to whether or not your presence in the hospital would be appreciated.

Dear Ann: I would like to address something I have never seen in your column: stolen library books and tapes. I work in a school library, but I am sure this problem exists in libraries everywhere.

Adults and children steal from libraries at an alarming rate. Yesterday, a parent returned a shopping bag filled with books she "found" in her child's room. Apparently, some students think nothing of taking books without checking them out, or keeping them because they don't want to pay the fines.

I am asking all readers, especially parents, to look around their home for library books, tapes or CDs that are overdue and return them to the proper location. Most of the time we are so happy to get them back that no questions will be asked. Library books are a wonderful, free source of endless information. Please bring them back and give others the same opportunity for growth. A Librarian in Akron, Ohio

Dear Akron: Thank you for reminding my readers what an extraordinary resource our library system is. Please, folks, look around for overdue books and return them at once. You'll sleep better.

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