Cheers to a rainy Friday! (Rather a rainy day where I live.)
Lately, I’ve read several articles about the need for keeping a journal or diary of chronic pain levels. At first, I skipped the articles and went to my business of writing. However, the more I read, the more I decided this activity would be beneficial in many ways.
You ask, “How will keeping a pain diary or journal help me?”
I’m glad you asked! Keeping a journal or diary of your daily pain activity chronicles your “ups and downs” with pain. For example:
- your pain level is higher on rainy days
- your sleep is disrupted because your pain woke you up
- a change in medication dosage may lower or increase your pain
These are a few of the actions you can chronicle with a pain diary. Over time, you’ll have a detailed report for your personal needs and for your doctor to review. Depending on Your pain results help your doctor manage your pain more effectively. He will see the symptoms of your pain and how it varies depending on the time of day.
There are “apps” specifically for tracking your pain levels. But after reading Jo Young’s article, “How I Started a ‘Pain Diary” (and Why I Think You Should, Too) I created my own diary with columns specific to my needs. Using Excel or a spreadsheet of your choice, below are sample column headings you may find beneficial:
- MORNING (Pain level 1-10)
- AFTERNOON (Pain level 1-10)
- NIGHT (Pain level 1-10)
- DOSAGE OF MED-X (Dosages and frequency can affect your pain level.)
- DOSAGE OF MED-Y
- DOSAGE OF MED-Z
- WENT OUTSIDE? (Sometimes we just don’t feel like going outside, like today)
- MENTAL STATE (Bad, Very Bad, Neutral, Good, Very Good are some suggestions)
- HOURS OF SLEEP (Hours of uninterrupted sleep, not including naps.)
- EXERCISE (Amount of, type, time spent)
- NOTES: (Put anything here as additional info for yourself or your doctor)
Your entries offer valuable information to help you cope with your pain. In addition, your pain diary helps your doctor’s decisions to manage your pain more effectively. And remember – start a pain diary if you were just diagnosed or experienced pain for years! After a few weeks, you’ll begin to see a pattern of your pain levels and what appears to affect it.
Would you mind letting me know when you start your pain diary or journal? And would you share your findings? I won’t share your personal information but may use your findings (along with other readers) in a blog post!
Thank you for stopping in to read! I appreciate your time and look forward to your comments!
Blessings sent your way,