Thursday, February 10, 2011

Tracking Symptoms

I have to admit tracking symptoms makes me feel in control of something.  Even if it is just the tracking of them, it still makes me feel better.
For the past year plus 2 months I have been writing down everything I feel. As I have mentioned numerous times, a year ago December I started having trouble. I had no idea what was up but, being who I am I started writing down the troubles I was having. Over this past year the entries waxed and waned. By the time I had my first neurologist appointment I realized this back log in my little book would be ridiculous to show a doctor. So I typed out all the symptoms on my computer, made a print out and presented it to him upon arrival. He thanked me and looked down the list.
I am not 100 % sure this helped or not. Even though it did show SIT (Separation In Time). The diagnosis was already in the bag. My MRI and double vision were conclusive.
Since then I have continued logging every symptom. At the start of this year I set aside my maxed out little logbook and cracked open a new one to start tracking this year.
Since the last visit with my neurologist I have acquired quite the back log. I have been thinking it's about time to get prepared for my next visit by typing them all on my computer again. You would think that I would have reasoned this out before now. But I haven't. I should have been keeping up with my symptoms on my computer and left out the little book writing. Now I get it. This would be smart. Though pen and paper have always been dear to me.  ;-) It is time for a change.
Well, that is what I am trying to do now. This won't erase the little books back log. I am still going to have to get those typed out at some point. But, from this date forward it will be electronic.
In walks Grace and genius.
I was getting ready to type out the symptom list. I had my little books and my computer ready to get started. Then I ran across a bit of software online. I couldn't believe my eyes. Some genius had made just what I needed. Back in 2008 this man made a MS Tracking software. In 2011 I ran across the link and purchased a copy for a modest price.
I am delighted. I have been using it for only a few days so I am not solid on it yet. Still learning. But what I have so far is priceless to me.
When I first got the software, I was thinking I was only going to be logging from this point forward but, I am discovering the ability to post date some entries and therefore clean up my back log with this software too. After logging I'll be able to print out my symptoms. Talk about convenience. Have I said I'm delighted.
To find the software I simply typed in MS Symptom Tracker into  Google search and it popped up. 
I have also started to use a online food tracking  program. I had been logging my food and water intake in a log book for the same amount of time as my symptoms. Going electronic here seemed prudent too.
With this program you can choose to use the free service online or download the software to your computer. For an added cost you can link the downloaded software to the online service. So far I am pleased. It really seems to be a full featured software. Still learning it but so far so good.
It's been keeping me busy logging and back logging with both of these "new to me" systems. Hoping and Praying it will be time well spent.  I defer to the One Who is really in control of my life. I'll trust for now this is His leading to help me along the way.

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