Thursday, February 24, 2011

Mission 2011: I've Got a Form for That!

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Here is my last post to wrap up a month of discussion about using forms, logs and data to become a better fibromyalgia scientist (or detective if you prefer.)

As I mentioned last week, today I want to acquaint you with a multi-purpose daily tracking form that can help you root out the cause of a specific problem or track your response when you make changes to your routine, medications or lifestyle. It's a combination of three different forms that I have used in the past; I just took the time to combine them and make one form that is very user-friendly and super easy to complete.

Feel free to download this form and utilize it for your personal use.

Let me also give you some suggestion on how to use this form:
  1. Complete the entire form daily to collect comprehensive data on your overall health.
  2. Complete this form periodically, for a few days or a week at a time, to reassess and identify changes in your symptoms, pain level or sleep patterns.
  3. Complete just a few sections to gather information about topics that interest you, like cataloging your symptoms or gauging your activity level.
  4. Use it to track your response to a new medication or lifestyle change. For example, complete the sleep section a week prior to and for a few weeks after you start a new sleep medication or start using a CPAP machine to gauge your response to treatment.
  5. Use completed forms to identify trends, especially those that are subtle and hard to see. For example, you may find that higher symptoms levels occur anywhere from 24 to 72 hours after high activity days or that fighting with your family is just as physically exhausting as going grocery shopping.
  6. Use this form to answer a question about your symptoms. For example, "Why am I always more tired on Monday?" or "Did I plan, pace and rest enough to avoid getting flared up from the special event I attended?"
  7. Use completed forms to identify issues that you want to discuss with your health care team or that might benefit from some lifestyle changes.
I am so excited about this new form that I have set a goal for myself to start completing it on a daily basis. With the form's simple check box and fill-in-the-blank format, it only takes me a few minutes at the end of the day to complete. Easy, quick and straight-forward--now that is what I like in a tracking form.

I can't wait to see what new discoveries I make just by taking a few minutes to track my activities, symptoms, stressors, sleep and more on a daily basis. I can't wait to hear what you discover too, so please share with me your experiences and feedback on using this form.

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Hope Ann said...

That looks like a great tracker, but the google doc isn't set to open permission.

Con said...

I've downloaded the tracker and will try to use it for several days.

Thanks for the document.


Selena said...

@Hope Ann - I am sorry about my unfamiliarity with how Google Docs works when it comes to sharing documents. Still trying to figure that bit out. In the meantime, you can download a PDF of this document by clicking the link below the form in this blog post.

@Con - Thanks for letting me know you were able to download this form using the link in the post. I appreciate the feedback.