My Chronic Illness Health Tracker and Journal Planner
How many times have you left the doctor's office, slapping yourself in the head because 2 minutes after your appointment ended, you remembered what you meant to tell them? You practiced this over and over. But you forgot it once again. Now, you won’t see him for another 6 months. Dang!
Doctors are busy people and have the impossible task of monitoring your chronic illness within a 15-minute time frame, twice a year. It is not a lot of time to make these important decisions on how to keep us alive. The doctor can do a better job with your help.
Advocating for yourself
Advocating for yourself means you will do the charting and tracking for the doctor in your personal journal, just as the nurses do in the hospital. Doctors read files all the time. The information helps doctors to know what changes have happened and how and why they happened. This is evidence-based information doctors can use to help you. Once the doctor has glanced over your journal, they will be better able to recommend a solution for you.
In the beginning chapter, we get our thoughts organized. It is critical that our history is told in it a proper, consecutive manner. Lots of memories reside here because it is the story of your journey. It’s how it began and how it has progressed so far.
The first 20 pages or so are for medical and personal phone numbers, lists of tasks to do like cleaning out the fridge or changing smoke alarm batteries. Then, we move on to all things personal like medical conditions, medications that we take, either prescribed or over the counter. Then we list the what’s and when’s of surgeries we have had. Finally, we finish the with tests you had and upcoming appointments and events.
There is also a quick reference to goals that you have created and reminder lists. There is plenty of room for jotting down ideas and brain dumps, where ideas grow.
Monthly, weekly, or daily
Each month starts with a monthly calendar and has space to jot down thoughts and information about this month. You can post special events or this month’s birthdays.
Our gratitude page follows and is a place to write what we are grateful for. Finding daily gratitude increases the likelihood that you will have a good day and pushes you to be more aware of your surroundings and thankful for your blessings.
Finally, we continue with weekly spreads that consist of trackers for exercise, pain, weather, blood pressure, and sugars. This helps to manage your day-to-day journey and we have space for daily thoughts on what you did and how your day ended.
Keeping track of your chronic illness for several months helps you to intimately understand your COPD. In fact, I learned that I had way more good days than bad days and that even with COPD, finding daily gratitude helped me find daily peace. My doctor learned that weather is a big factor in how well I breathe on any given day.
Do you have a COPD caregiver?