Why Starting My Electronic Health Record Journey was Actually a Pretty Cool Experience

Last month I went to the doctor for a routine checkup… As a man in my 30’s whose blood pressure had never before exceeded the 120/80 gold standard, I was surprised to see my reading had ascended into previously uncharted territory… 146/93

I thought surely this was the work of the fast food mailers that landed in my box about a week prior.

Wendy’s, KFC, and McDonalds – in a single bundle… It’s as if Dave Thomas, Colonel Sanders, and Ronald McDonald had assembled in the afterlife to collude against my waistline.

For the most part I’m able to fight the temptation, but sometimes the promise of a $2.00 price reduction is simply too much to resist!

And so I assumed the unexpected blood pressure spike was a one-off, triggered by an egregious 2AM Saturday night Baconator and Chili Cheese Fries incident.

I quickly entered the reading into TheBigPicture app and moved on with my day.

A week later, on a Thursday evening at the grocery store, I decided to check my pressure again at the monitor in the pharmacy department… 136/99

Again I thought this seemed peculiar. But again I didn’t want to make a fuss.

After all, Thursdays are  “Prime Rib” dinner special night at my local Harris Teeter.

And since I had already mentally and emotionally committed to Prime Rib, coupled with a full-bodied Cabernet, and 3 hour Netflix binge as my planned itinerary for the evening, I decided to turn a blind eye to my mounting blood pressure situation.

Eleven days later I returned to the blood pressure monitor… 145/90

Again I thought this was bizarre.

And so I was left with only 2 options:

Option 1 – Continue to delve into my lexicon for lesser-used synonyms for strange, like “peculiar” and “bizarre”.

or

Option 2 – Face the empirical evidence I had collected electronically over a 3 week timespan; and begin to do the work necessary to reduce my blood pressure.

And while I’ll go into detail regarding how I am successfully reducing my blood pressure (using another useful TheBigPicture feature called the “Metric Meal Plan”) in a later post, the moral of today’s story is that it’s cool to start compiling a personal electronic health record now.

Why? Because the fact is I won’t be in my 30’s forever… And so it’s a good feeling to know that when I’m in my 40’s, 50’s, 60’s and beyond; from this point going forward, I’ll have a comprehensive record of my health history in my pocket.

So even if I switch doctors,  hospitals or health insurance companies one, two or even ten times, my records will always be with me when I need them the most… At the point-of-care.

And that my friends is actually pretty cool.