Does anyone keep a Journal? Need Ideas.

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by luv2float, Jan 9, 2007.

  1. luv2float

    luv2float New Member

    Was wondering if any of you keep a journal of your pain, symptoms, diet, meds, emotions etc.

    I'm looking for some ideas for a format to use to do this. I keep reading in self help info that this is a good to do.

    Also, I have applied for SSDI and was wondering if this would be helpful for them to understand my limitations on daily activities and the level of problems I have. If any of you have done this for them, let me know what you did.

    Any info would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks!

  2. abcanada

    abcanada New Member

    I've been too sick to fill it out all the time. I think they're getting the hint. This is very detailed. You have to record your level of pain at 4 times in the day & what you took for it, and how that helped/or didn't. Also they want to know about when you have your period ladies. What you did during the day & if that made it worse. Basically everything you've done during the day every day of the month. They gave me 6 months worth and expect them completed. I think it's a great idea for someone trying to get help. Laura
  3. AllWXRider

    AllWXRider New Member

    I pressed the "EASY BUTTON" on this one.
    I write down when a start a new therapy. What I feel like. It helps tremendously.

    I also use a grease pencil "China Marker" and write on my meds 2-3X which means Take Two - Three times a day.

  4. Marta608

    Marta608 Member

    I actually keep two on my computer! One for writing feelings and ideas and one to keep track of meds and symptoms. They're both been helpful; the feeling journal helps me get rid of feelings that weigh me down, and the health journal has been invaluable when I need to see the progress of a med.

    I strongly recommend them both. It's no harder then writing on the board.

    Marta

  5. makezmuzic

    makezmuzic New Member

    Hi I keep a hardcopy journal, a word.doc journal and an annon blog journal.

    I have it three ways because sometimes the physical act of writing feels therapeutic and I'm on the go, or I'm have a lot of info I want to document on my LT, or I need to do an annon discharge some major toxic trash talk - kind-a-like.

    The doc ones are great for the kind of info I need my doc & say, SSDI to know.

    One thing though, I have a cousin in Baltimore who works for SSI. He has told me over and over again to not give SSDI any more info than they ask you for. They don't understand that some people respond to being chronically ill by getting very organized at times. To them "Organizes" means well enough to work. We know that we already ARE "working" - on staying healthy enough to hold our lives together.

    Here are hopes that you get a compassionate, caring and respectful advocate for your SSI eligibility worker.

    MM
  6. Shannonsparkles

    Shannonsparkles New Member

    I've been keeping a journal for about 4 years now. I use medium sized spiral-bound notebooks, and keep a pen tucked inside. I write all the stuff about how I'm doing on the left page, and I use the opposite page to write memos to self. Really handy for me.

    Here's my format. Everybody will have their own style at this.


    -Date

    -Weather

    -How well I slept, what time I woke up, how hard it was to wake up. What time I was able to get out of bed.

    -Thoughts on waking.

    -Times that I ate. (Foods are circled so they're easy for me to see at a glance.) Whether I felt worse after eating, sluggish, hyper, etc.

    -Unusual symptoms or anything uncomfortable, and the time that it happened. In front of the symptom, I draw a black square so they're easy to notice. If the symptom starts at a particular time of day and continues through the rest of the day, I draw an arrow after it.

    -Anything noteworthy.

    -Food cravings.

    -Pain, rated with a number from one to ten. Write the location of the pain and what it feels like. I draw a square around the number so it's easy to spot.

    -Any kind of emotional pain, with number rating in box. Also, the cause of it and the thoughts that go with it.

    -Stress, also physical stress, like bathing or cooking. I draw a black circle, then write what the stress or change in routine was. If it was really stressful, I use capital letters.

    -New pills, with a box drawn around the name of the pill.



    I've started figuring out a calendar system too, for quick reference. It's easier to see it all spread out for some things. Like, I go for weeks asleep during the day, then weeks asleep during the night. I cycle like that. It was stressful when this started, because I never knew back then when I'd be up and when I'd be asleep. Having the calendar helped me to track this. When I go into the night shift, I draw a moon on the calendar date that it starts. I draw a sun when it goes back to daytime. If it's half and half, I draw a line and put the sun on one side and the moon on the other.


    Hope you find a system you like.
    (( )) Shannon
  7. balletdancer74

    balletdancer74 New Member

    Hi,

    I kept a journal for the first three and a half years until I just felt wiped out.

    Now I use a dictaphone, so I just talk right into the recorder. I give the date, time and if I've tried anything new, how I feel physically and emotionally, what I did or didn't do that day, etc.

    It's really good at helping me regain perspective when perspective starts to slip away. When I feel like the pain and weakness, etc. are too overwhelming, I play back a day from years ago or a specific time in my life when my health was MUCH worse, and I remember how bad it really COULD be again. I also laugh at myself now when I hear myself.

    My journal whether written or oral has been very helpful.

    I did not have to use it for my SSI case, BUT we're all different and in different states, so it can't hurt to have one.

    If you're too weak to write, than I highly suggest a dictaphone. Just try to remember stating the time and date so you know when you felt the way you did.

    All the best,
    LB32 (Leeza)