Our Nurses > Ask a Nurse > Keeping track of your symptoms without it feeling like a chore
Keeping track of your symptoms without it feeling like a chore
January 30, 2014
Hi! I'm facing a little dilemma I hope you can help me with.
First of all, I've been living with MS for a while now. Plus, I have a full-time job and two young kids. My healthcare provider suggested that I start a symptom journal. She says it helps in a lot of ways. But frankly, it just seems like a big chore. I mean, I want to keep on top of stuff but I guess I don't really see the value in writing everything down.
What do you think?
– Trouble Tracking Symptoms
Nurse Claire replies:
This is a great question! The bottom line is, you are the best historian of your health and your MS. But I get it, it sounds like just another job that you need to do. But here's the thing, it's an important thing.
Detailing what's going on with you between medical appointments is a great way for you to let your healthcare provider know how you're doing overall, about specific symptoms, and even about the progression of your MS. Does your healthcare provider welcome this type of information? Absolutely! You might even be able to identify trends, and that's great info for you and your healthcare provider to talk about.
The good news is that your journal does not need to be detailed. You can just jot down quick thoughts, such as “left foot numb” or “feeling fuzzy today.” Electronic tools can make journaling even easier. For example, some smartphones let you write or even dictate notes. You can also send yourself a quick email. Or try this easy-to-use symptom tracker. But find the method that works best for you. And so you don’t get bogged down, only track the days that aren’t so great. You’ll want to note the date and time, then list when a symptom started, stopped, became worse, or got better.
— Nurse Claire, MS One to One® Nurse
Helping since 2013