does anyone keep a journel?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Shelle16, Dec 18, 2002.

  1. Shelle16

    Shelle16 New Member

    Hey,
    I was just wondering if any of you keeps a daily journal if so what all kinds of things to you keep in it? Do you keep up with daily pain,moods etc..or do you keep up with the activities,food,pain meds that youve took,etc. Also if any of you does keep a journal how do you go about introducing the idea to your Doc? I saw it suggested somewhere but I forgot where. It made me think that it would be easier to explain to your doc what went on thoughout the month? Sorry so long I can't stop once I get started.
    Shelle
  2. catgal

    catgal New Member

    Hi Shelle~~I keep a journal and write in it several times a week. However, it isn't just a medical journal about my aches & pains, etc. I write about everything I feel, think, and do that I want to record. How my life is going, what's happening, dreams, whatever. I also write about how I'm feeling physically that day, my mood, and such.

    However, for myself I found out early that my physician has neither the interest nor the time to go over/read a month's report on my physical/medical well being. I do from time to time write him a short Medical Self-Report that hits the high points/priority areas--a typed page or two--something he can flip through fast and get the gist of things. He puts this in my chart.

    I journal for my own personal well being and to stay sane. I journal as a form of "mental housecleaning". I feel so much better after I've gotten everything emotionally out of me.

    Best Wishes for the Holidays! Carol....
  3. Shelle16

    Shelle16 New Member

    Carol,
    Thanks for the very informative reply.I kinda was thinking that the Doc probably could care less about a journal. But I thought it would make it easier to tell him how many migraines I have. How severe my pain is throught out he month,ETC.
    Well anyway I do think that keeping a journal for your on personal use/sanity is an awesome idea it does help to get evwerything out of your head and on paper and then just go back over everything and make out a brief medical report for the Doc.Thanks again for the info.I think I will start this in Jan along with losing some weight.Merry Christmas to you also.and a Great New Year.

    Shelley
  4. BonBons

    BonBons New Member

    Shelle, I always keep a journal, or write down my feelings. I do keep a separate health journal with symptoms (and use a 1-10 scale for pain) and what I've tried for help. I started doing it seriously in 1997 because I was so tired of forgetting what was going on and thinking I was nutso. I now have many pages of mostly brief descriptions. I have edited other people's writing when I am well enough and also enjoy just spilling my guts out on the computer. I also write poetry. Bonnie
  5. pam_d

    pam_d New Member

    I'm not a journaller, as such---I think some people just ARE or they AREN'T---- but one of my two New Year's resolutions is to keep a "symptom" journal--just a quick jotting daily. Should've done this the whole time I've had FM, then I could look back & see patterns. Also, sometime I have a new, kind of disturbing symptom, and think..."wait----didn't I have this before, maybe last summer when it was very hot???" and this way I could look back, maybe be less anxious knowing it was a passing thing. So I think this at least is a good idea, even if I'll never be an eloquent expresser of all my thoughts & feelings (I admire those who are, though---I imagine it's excellent therapy).

    Oh, and my other resolution is finding a gentle yoga class!

    Happy Holiday Hugs,
    Pam
  6. LisaMay

    LisaMay New Member

    I love my journal. It is my source of comfort. I've always kept one since I was a kid, but since I've been sick it has taken on a different twist. I was trying to make an entry every day but that just wasn't realistic for me. I jot down my moods, med changes, food intake, exercise, symptoms for the day, and whatever else I feel is important at the time. My doc has no interest in reading my entries, but it allows me to remember things of importance that need to be discussed during my visits. Like she'll say "how many migraines have you had in the last month" and I can easily look it up; you know our memories aren't what they used to be.

    Hope it helps you organize your thoughts. Lisa
  7. sofy

    sofy New Member

    I dont do it. Too much effort and I dont like to spend time thinking "did I feel better today than yesterday". If you want to do it for medical info for the dr. you have to make it in a form that is easily read, and meaningful with just a quick look. Some sort of colum or graph form that can quickly tell there is a correlation between sleep and pain or whatever. If you have several things I would make a graph for each item so it is less confusing. You aim is to hand the dr. a couple of papers and he can quickly see the information you want him to know. Any rambeling musing we scribble in a journal will not help you with the dr. If he took time to read all that stuff he would only be able to see a few of us each day and it would cost us more than any of us could pay. Think like a scientist and leave out the personal stuff.
  8. JP

    JP New Member

    Hello Shelle

    I journal some...wish I did everyday because it is helpful for many reasons. When I do, I use a method to keep me focused and organized. I start by describing my pain upon waking with words and the 1-10 pain scale. I then describe the quality of my sleep. From there I go into symptoms and or things that may have happened the day before and or anything that may have been helpful. I note diet and exercise, hydration and so forth. I also end it with a gratitude list...it's the only way I can be with what I am writing.

    Take care,
    Jan
  9. jesuslover

    jesuslover New Member

    I also keep a journal. Actually, I keep three journals. One is combination prayer journal and FMS jorunal, but I only write in it when something that has happens warrants it. (I kept too many journals as a kid, that said "went to School, came home" day after day.) My next journal is a writing journal. I'm an author of Christian non-fiction as well as trying my hand at fiction and poetry, too. I use this to keep ideas, etc, in, but I mostly use a taperecorder for this. The last journal I keep is a health journal. I bought this neat (can you tell I'm a child of the 60s?)binder called "Medical Information Kit", which has sections for medication, procedures, history, etc. When I know I'm going to a doctor and need to keep a list of symptoms, etc, I write in that.

    Nancy S.
  10. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    Journaling can help to find patterns of symptoms and triggers. It can open up feelings which were under the surface. Oprah keeps a gratitude journal to help her keep positive.

    I like to journal, but I'm not as diligent as I should be about it. I do it when I feel like it.

    I'm also keeping a journal for my children which tells them what it was like growing up in the 50's and 60's. I kept bugging my Mom to write down or tape what it was like growing up in rural Nebraska in the 20's and 30's, but she never did. It would have been such a treasure for our family.

    Love, Mikie
  11. LauraLea

    LauraLea New Member

    My doctor and family has told me I should but it hurts to do too much writting. I can't even read my own writting that's pretty bad.

    I have in the past but always seem to stop after a week or so.
  12. sheri

    sheri New Member

    I have been journeling off and on for a few years, sometimes its in the form of poetry, or just plain what I am experiencing or feeling...I also write my prayers at times. I notice that when I am especially feeling low, I journal more..but, when I have my Devotions, I keep a journal beside me. Sometimes, I pray aloud, or silently, or write...It helps. blessings, sheri
  13. teach6

    teach6 New Member

    I have made up simple sheets where I can write what I did, anything unusual, new meds, etc. and my BP and pulse for four different times of the day, Sleep(night), AM, PM, evening. I haven't been too good about keeping it lately, but due to some med changes and problems I have been having. I am going to maker a better effort to keep it daily. It only takes a few minutes to fill out each day, which is what you want, something easy.

    As for being in too much pain to write, last year I was that way. I could hold a pen, but not a notebook, or anything else to write on. Now I have much better pain management and am able to do much more.

    Barbara
  14. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    I have osteoarthritis in my hands and it can be painful to write in longhand and it is beneficial to type. For a long time, I was typing my journals. I was using my word processor to help with cognitive problems which produced misspelings and dyslexia. However, I found that by using a big fat pen, I could write in longhand and it helped with the cognitive problems. I believe it is beneficial for my brain. It also seems that the act of actually writing things down is more in touch with my emotions as opposed to typing.

    Love, Mikie