Posts Tagged ‘Journal’

Chronic Illness Journal

Just as you thought I was off my rocker with the fist journal posting, I can’t wait for your feed back on this!   You know how you try a new medication and it doesn’t work out.  You get side effects that are just not worth it.  Later down the road the Dr wants to try the drug again, you remember the name of it, thought you tried it before, but just can’t remember if you did or what happened?   Yep, there is a journal for that!  Plus, if you need to go to the hospital, your loved one will already know about said journal and be able to take it along with you to the hospital.  Then neither of you in the heat of the moment have to remember, just flip open the book and it is all right there… what you are taking and what you can’t.

It is very easy, it just takes time on your part and could probably save your life.  Do you really want to trust the Dr that is taking care of you or those electronic records that always seem messed up?!

I personally had started 3 different ones.  All in one book with a tab for the 3 sections.  Since everything happened so fast for my GP diagnosis within 5 months, I decided to not rely on memory and write it all down.

Journal 1 — Medications

  • Names, Amounts
  • Prescription Date & if you are still taking it
  • Reason for taking it
  • Notes/Comments

     (Yes – for each medication.  If you end with the newest one you are taking.)

Journal 2 — List of Doctors

  • Name of the Dr
  • Address or Building they are in
  • Phone number (fax if you know it)
  • Date of 1st appointment and if you are still going there
  • Notes/Comments

      (Yep, each Dr you have seen)

Journal 3 — Procedures / Tests

  • Name of the procedure (MRI, Digestive Study, ect)
  • Location of Test
  • Why was it done
  • Date of Test
  • Results
  • Comments/Notes

I decided to do all of these because it was so hard to go from one Dr to the next, to the next and they all asked the same dang questions!  Geess… look at my records! 

But it has come in handy when I applied for Disability and I am sure it will come in handy down the road.  It does take a lot of time at first (depending on how far along you are in the medical GP fight), but it will be well worth it.


Food Journal

When diagnoses with gastroparesis, all I as told was to eat 5 – 6 low-fat and low-fiber meals.  I had a one sheet hand out that told me very little.  But it did out line: no red meat, no raw fruits and vegetables.  Great, so what CAN I eat?  I researched a lot of it via good and bad sources (I will post links later on my blog’s main page).  After trying a ‘new food’ it was hard for me to know how I felt the next day or later when I tried it again.  As you may know, it is so overwhelming to have this diagnosis and figure out how foods affect you.  Since gastroparesis (GP) effects us all in different ways.  You may be able to eat something that I can not tolerate, as so forth.

So I decided to do a journal.  It is an easy format, but takes daily dedication to have the full picture of your heath and figure out what foods trigger what in you.

First step is to make a scale from 0 – 5.  This is your ‘pain’ scale.  0 is your ‘normal’ or you can rank it as having no pain.  It is up to you!  5 is then the worst ever.   I have a scale for the following as these were my main issues:

  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Stomach Pain
  • Dizzy

Here is an easy journal format:


May 23, 2013 – Thursday

9am     Woke Up

Headache 2, Nausea 3, Stomach Pain 1, Dizzy 0

2 Ginger Supplements, 1 Fish Oil, 1 Calcium Tab

9:30     Hot Tea & 2 slices of toast with strawberry jam

11am   Headache 1, Nausea 2, Stomach Pain 3, Dizzy 2

Noon   1 cup of chicken noodle soup

2pm     Smoothie: Greek yogurt, banana, blueberries, protein powder, juice

Headache 1, Nausea 0, Stomach Pain 2, Dizzy 3


If you can be sure to include the amount of food/drink, medications along with amounts, what you are drinking, any supplements, and be sure to do a 0-5 scale when you feel something in your body change.  It could simply mean that a few hours after I always take  ‘___’, I feel ‘___’.   For me it was anytime I had dairy at night, the next morning my nausea was high.  You do have to be a detective, but it is well worth it for your overall health.

Here are two pictures of journals.  I have now decided that I like the calendar style the best.  I keep it at my bed side and took it with to work (so I could log my lunches).  The other picture is just a standard journal with lines.  Pick what works for you.  Even if it is a sheet of paper, your phone or calendar on the computer, taking the fist step to seeing a clearer picture of what foods work for you, is all that matters!

Journal 1Image

TIP Always try a food more then one time to determine if you can tolerate it.  Maybe the food item did not work well on just that day or in combination of something else you ate/drank.  This is also why a journal is key – to weeding out those new foods.   Or keep a journal just for that!

A Bad Reaction To Midol … Dang GP Body!! (Female Topic)

Even with all the side effects of Gastroparesis, we still know when something else is wrong.  Then the hunt to self diagnose begins! 

Sunday night I got a horrible back ache.  I thought for a minute of what I may have carried or slept wrong… then it hit me!  It’s a girl thing and soon. 

Monday I went to the store and picked up Midol.  As a young ‘woman’ I lived off of Pamprin, but I Imagewasn’t too sure if one ingredient would be okay with GP.  Of course I researched all this before I headed to the store.  Information is key to our health!

I would not have done this, but Monday was NOT any better and I go through 1 month of this bad pain and the next is fine.  Knowing my husband has Tuesday off and we wanted to go do a few things, I made my decision to pick up something to help me.   We had not seem a movie in maybe 6 – 8 months and this was our great plan for the day.

I took 1 pill (1/2 the dose recommended) and it seemed to help a little.  So, I took another one before bed time.   At 3am I had such a sore throat it was not funny!  I went to the kitchen for a tsp of honey.  It helped a little, so I went back to sleep.  Kind of!  Many times I work with different issues: back pain was back, neck pain, sore throat, massive headache, chills and who knows what else.

I assumed it was allergies or a cold.

About 11am I decided to get out of bed as my tummy was hurting so very bad.  Yep, now the GP issues kicked into high gear; with lack of nutrition/hydration for 12+ hours.  Standing slowly and almost passed out.  What a great day, I thought!  But, I can do this!!  Stumbling to the kitchen for tea and honey, then to the couch.  

I took another Midol and felt so very tired.  I ate a protein bar quickly and went to lay down before I fell asleep eating it.   Woke a few hours later to a concerned husband and hunger.  I made some soup and grabbed my blanket.   Then I started to wonder if anything in the Midol was making me this way.   It had not progressed for a cold and was not allergies (those are my life…so I know).

I got the bottle and googled side effects.  With my prior research I didn’t do this as the main two ingredients are fine with me and the third was so little, it would not matter.  But, to my dismay, the third ingredient was the problem!   If you ever read the side effects, they have the likely, slight chance and rare.   Well, with my body, rare isn’t so rare with me.  There is proof in all of my medical records and almost going to ER with an asthma attack with one pill.

It is now 9pm and I am feeling a little better.  Back still hurts, but voice is back, sore throat is tolerable to drink, headache is much less and I feel okay for the most part.

However, the challenge for tomorrow is to get me back from going down a GP flare, since I neglected my nutrition/hydration today.

What did you learn?  Besides I am long winded??  I hope that it is to know your body and symptoms.  If you are feeling ‘different’ and don’t know why, think about any changes you have done.  It could be a new pill, new food, new drink, new sleep schedule, environment (stress,etc) and much more.  I had lived by doing a journal and recommend that you do the same.  It is so much easier to figure out what changes you made (if you document it all) and decide if maybe that is effecting you in a negative way.

PS:  I tried a ‘new’ pill so that I could curb my female issues and enjoy a movie with my husband and maybe a dinner out.  That turned into me being in bed almost all day with a reaction to the medication!   Sometimes the short cut in life is not the best method 🙂




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