Good Reads

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Symptom Checks

Strange symptoms can be unnerving. When you live with a chronic medical condition, it can be a frightening way to live. You are always on "alert" with what could go wrong next and that is really "no" way to live. But the truth-of-the-matter is, that is life.

With a chronic medical condition, it seems like there is always something new, some sort of symptom that is popping up. Just when you think you have sunk into a routine and things are ticking along; there's another strange symptom that you've never felt before, or had to deal with. Instantly you go on alert; "What was that?" "I've never felt that before." "Is that dangerous?" You begin to ask yourself a million questions and you instantly try to decipher where that pain or sensation came from. What caused it? And is it there to stay or just passing through? If it doesn't go away or happens often, then there's the infamous call to your doctor to get it checked.

It is a lot of work living with a chronic medical condition. You have to be on your A-game all the time. You don't want to take any chances and let a symptom slip by that could have been caught before it lead to bigger and more complicated problems.

One of the best ways to make sure you didn't miss anything, is by keeping a diary. And keep it handy. If you are a woman, carry a little notebook that fits easily in your purse. For a guy, you can get a little book that slides easily into your back pocket. Write everything down when you get a strange feeling or develop a new symptom.

Document things such as:
  • The time.
  • What you were doing when it happened?
  • Was there pain involved and how much - describe it on a level of 1-10?
  • Other symptoms that accompanied the original symptom, such as; did you feel faint afterwards, develop a headache after the original sensation, nausea?
  • How long did it last?
  • Did it happen more than once?
Anything you can think of to describe the symptom or odd sensation will be helpful to your doctor. Then, of course, if it happens again, this is even more beneficial to your doctor because it can show a pattern developing, etc.

Like your automobile, you need to stay on top of your body and how it works. Is it time consuming? At times. But it is important in order to keep your doctor updated and informed on your progress and problems. It is also important to help give you reassurance. If you do not know how to describe your problems or concerns to your doctor, he will be unable to give you answers that will help put your mind at ease.

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