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pain management book

RefugeeRRefugee Posts: 100
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:36 AM in Pain Management
Does anyone keep track of their pain in a journal and times that medication is taken and when it wears off? Does this help the doctor to understand all the problems? I always have trouble remembering everything and thought this might be an option. If so how do you actually set up the journal? I mean what format for the pages just general writing or is it listed by time?


  • I keep a daily journal of what I am doing, what medicine I take at what time, where I have pain and and the relative level. It helps to review my pain journal before visiting my doctor. I am sure there must be a better format. Mine is just chronological with a daily summary at the top.

    One thing I do not recommend is telling your doctor what your pain level is every day on a scale of 1-10. Everyone has a different perception of pain. Is my 5 your 3 and some other guy's 7? The VAS idea is complete B.S. Suppose you have a moderate pain, and you give it a 3. Then you do something that aggravates your back and your pain level is four times what it was an hour ago. Is that a pain level of 12? On a scale of 1 to 10? Pain perception is not linear. However, you know what your pain scale is for yourself, and you can use it to try to determine how your pain management is working, how long your pain meds are effective, etc.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,846
    keep a spreadsheet that listed all of my medications, when I took them, when their effects wore off.
    I also included my
    Blood Pressure
    Pain Rating
    Body Temperature
    I kept this for about six months when I first started taking the ER type of medications. This was helpful for my doctor and myself
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • I do and yes, it absolutely helps me and my doctor! :D

    In the beginning, I was using the Target notebook from the American Pain Foundation. For me, it was a really good starting point, especially in the "my pain scale" section, because that gave my doctor a really good idea of how I view my own pain over time.


    After a few months/appointments using it, I found that there were parts I didn't really need and other things my doctor and I wanted to keep track of, so I started tweaking things to better target my pain variations. Now I have my own personal journal that I keep on my computer.

    I print a copy of my journal to take to every appointment and my doctor goes over it. It's usually 3-5 pages and includes line graphs of my pain levels and BT drug usage since my last appointment. When he's done looking it over, that copy goes into my file, so we both always have access to the entire journal.

    The only real drawback I see with the journals is if you have a problem being held accountable. There have been several times when my doctor has pulled out old journal pages and called me out for doing stupid things repeatedly. Sometimes I have a good reason, and we talk it out... but more often, I just have to take my lumps, so to speak.. :))(
  • Yes- the VAS is BS, but it is what Dr's understand.

    I wrote my own pain scale - 1-10 with my own words and meanings. And I have used this with my DR to let him know how I am doing.

    I'll make a PDF of it, if anyone would want it? I have a pain level below which I am off cane, about it, and I must use the cane. I track on a 24 basis, my meds and when I took and when I had to modify, BT meds are charted too. Anything including night-time. I also chart food and times as well. I was having issues with food and figured out I was in too much pain, not lactose intolerant.

    I use it to chart sleep and anything else that I can think of. and I also don't obsess about it either. I will chart for a few days to a week at most, after a new drug, then stop and LIVE without paying too much attnetion to it and see how it goes.

    If the pain levels shoot up- I will chart again and go for a increase in meds, or modify my meds in some way to deal with the pain.

    This has worked for me, It is my way of showing my Dr that I too am part of this solution for myself.

    Cheers - David
  • But I think it's a really good idea.

    I recently let my pain get away of me and had a *really* hard time getting it back under control. My normal meds weren't working and I ended up with nausea and a headache in addition to the horrible back/hip/leg pain. UGH!

    Normally, I just fill out a chart indicating my highest, lowest and normal level of pain since the previous Dr. visit. There is a space to indicate general activity level, but no place to indicate how specific activities affect future pain levels. At this point, my doctor does not have a way chart a slowly 'creeping' high, normal or low daily pain levels.

    I'm going to make a spreadsheet tonight. I want to be able to see exactly when any of my average pain levels increase. If my daily average is creeping up from 3's to 5's, something is obviously not right. By the time I get to 6's and 7's, it's too late for my meds to do any good. This is really good information for all pain management patients to have!

  • that i have started on but i just dont know whether to take it in or not. I know i have some problems that need addressed and im always afraid ill forget something and i dont want it to be that way. I know my meds need changed but theres other things i need to speak up about i have a one track mind and when im focused on that everything else gets lost in the smog. I also dont want him to think i will bring this with me everytime because some times things dont change for a while or meds have to be adjusted and worked with until we get them right so in situations like that the journal wouldnt really need to play a part except to say well they arent working that well and we still need to keep adjusting.

    Thanks for the info.
  • Doctors have a way of making you forget about what exactly it was you were going in for. I make sure to keep a journal of my feelings, pain, medicine, activity, you name it. The more information the better. One day, we should get together and publish our data. I try to describe my pain in elaborate detail no matter how silly it seems. The more detail, the better the doctor can diagnose and treat the pain. For example, my most recent trip to the pain management, I described to the doctor that I compared my pain feeling to an old Twizzler. Take an stale Twizzler, bend it and lay it flat on a table. That stiff, slowly re-aligning, falling back into place action is how my back feels when I lay down after a day of little to "normal" activity. It was the first thing that popped into my head and I just tried to elaborate it.
    Plus, it's good to keep notes of what to talk about next because the doctor is always asking you questions and interrupting you. I go through my notes and then write out a bullet list of things I want to go over with the doctor. So it's better to write everything down so you can keep track of your symptoms.
    Take care,

  • Anytime I go to dr I just keep notepad between visits and write down any questions or anything that needs addressed that pops in my head and take it with me so I don't have a medicated brain fart before or when I get there.
    A journal would be good, just I'd have to remember to write in it.
    But different strokes for different folks.
    Do whatever is good for you!
    Good luck and have a good as you can day!

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