Keep a Pain journal….on your iPhone?

For years now, I have kept a fibro/pain journal. I use the journal to help manage my overall health and pain. With an illness such as Fibromyalgia, it is very difficult to tell which event or series of events affected the way you feel. Am I having a pain attack because I only had 4 hours of sleep two nights ago or was it the ice cream I ate today or the stress of my job or….the list could go on. By keeping a journal, I am able to tell what factors make my pain worse, and what makes it better.

When I first started, I was very diligent about my entries. I marked everything down I ate, every pill I took, and every hour I managed to sleep. I wrote down what helped each type of pain my body went though daily. Over time, patterns began to show. For example, I learned that if I get less than 6 hours of sleep, my nerve pain located in my hands is worse the next day. The journal is also very helpful to bring to all my doctor appointments. I can tell them what is working, and what is not. Whenever I switch medications, I keep track of how my body is adjusting to the new regimen. It makes it easier to describe through the fibro-fog how I feel when it is written down in my journal.

But, just like any management routine, keeping a journal can be a painful chore itself. My frequency of journal entries is not like it used to be. I find that I write in it more on a monthly than a daily basis. Which, makes it very hard to tell why I hurt when I do and how to make it better. For example, do I hurt more today because I walked 2 miles on Sunday or is it that I only took one Alieve this morning. So when I purchased my new iPhone the other day, the very first thing I did was to look for apps that would help simplify my pain journal entries.

I first found an app called Zuri, from Zume Life. It looks great. And it tracks everything! zume.img_assist_customYou can try the first month for free. BUT,…..after that it is $35/month or $300/ year for the service. Your subscription covers you for the iPhone app and a log-in on their website. Even though Zuri, looks great, and has all the features I am looking for in a web 2.O based tool- $300/ year is just too much! So my search continued…..

I found another iPhone app called Pain Tracker. The best part is it’s free! paintracker-iphone-58445.185x185.1249536989.6297
And very simple. The program consists of three parts-
1) your level of pain on a four part scale,
2) where your pain is located, and
3) a place to put notes.
Then, it can chart your pain levels over a period of time for you. So, at your next doctor’s visit when they ask, how’s your pain been in the past 30days- you not only have an answer, but you have a chart to show them! paintracker-iphone-58445.320x480.1249536992.18585
To use Pain Tracker, you don’t have to log into any web site, and each entry is automatically dated and chronologically stored for you.

This app is very simple and quick to use. I have just started using it, but my hope is that in a few weeks I will be able to track a pattern in my pain levels. This will not only show how much pain I am in, but it might help explain why I am having pain attacks.

I will continue my search for tools to help manage chronic pain, iPhone apps or otherwise. Be sure to check back with this blog, I’ll update it to let everyone know how the Pain Tracker app is working for me.

Please fill free to comment if you have any tools that work to help you manage your pain. Thanks!

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About Amy Higgins
Social mediaholic. Incurable content creator. Hardcore bacon nerd. Opera aficionado. Presently @TopRank Marketing Formerly @Zendesk @Concur @GoogleLocalSF

7 Responses to Keep a Pain journal….on your iPhone?

  1. Kate Flouee says:

    Cool article as for me. I’d like to read more concerning this theme. The only thing I would like to see on that blog is a few pics of any devices.

    Kate Flouee
    phone blocker

  2. You made some good points there. I did a search on the topic and barely got any specific details on other sites, but then great to be here, really, thanks.

    – Lucas

  3. Truly great blog to pay attention to in my view. A small question, why haven’t you you place that article to social media? That should bring rather big traffic to this domain.

  4. Ruminari says:

    I’m glad you’ve found something that’s helping you track trends. This is something I haven’t been so good at… but I’ve recently created an excel spreadsheet and hope, once I’m back in school and on a routine, to keep better track of my medical whatnot.

    • flourishwithfibro says:

      The key I have found for journal is to keep it very simple. Keeping a record to manage your pain is like doing a basic science experiment in grade school. If you add too many variables, it is too hard to tell which variable is causing your pain to increase or decrease. I use a rating scale on a level between 1-10 (1 being good, 10 being bad) for every “trend” I follow. With using excel, it is really easy to track your trends numerically. Some items I tend to track are sleep, appetite, my pain levels, work load, and emotional stress. Hope this helps you!

  5. Nice to see you reviewing these things. And helping education people about pain management techniques such as you learned in your journal.

    Lumigrate plans to have a journal out in the near future and then we’re working on how to transition for those electronic, as you are.

    In case I miss your posts when you have updates, you can email me as well and I’ll be more likely to see it for sure.

    Mardy

    • flourishwithfibro says:

      Mardy- I will try to keep updated with all of my new postings. But you can subscribe to my RSS feeds, either my posts and/or comments, on the upper right side of my blog page. Let me know if you have any trouble doing so. Also you can follow me on Twitter at :fibroflr

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