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Multiple Sclerosis Community
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572651 tn?1531002957

Charting symptoms

I've confessed before that I listen to DR RADIO on XM Radio on my work drive.  This morning they were discussing Lupus and I wished my drive time was longer.  The doctor validated a caller who talked about being dismissed by doctors early in her search for a dx as having anxiety and stress and not believing this healthy looking woman had anything wrong.  Wow, where have we heard that before?  :-)

One tip these doctors  offered their listeners that I want to share really made a ton of sense.  If you have a computer, set up a chart of your symptoms that you can quickly tick off if you experience them.  It gives you a clear record of symptoms and  also will show a pattern of when those symptoms occur (ie: happen in clusters).  

Using this simple system doesn't get you bogged down in detailing everything and creates a good visual to take with you.

I know the tracker here does some of the same thing, but I picture this being even simpler and easier to print.  Plus it doesn't look like you've been searching for a diagnosis on the internet.  Here's a rough sample and this would be easy to put together on an excel chart or even to hand draw it on lined paper.   Just add your mark for each day you have one of the symptoms (I listed just a few examples here).

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
SYMPTOMS          1.1  1/2  1/3  1/4  1/5   and so on with the dates.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
leg numbness                                  x
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
blurred vision           x       x             x     x
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
incontinence                                           x    
(and so on with other symptoms you might have)

best,
Lulu
4 Responses
667078 tn?1316004535
Great info Lulu.

Alex
1312898 tn?1314571733
thanks lu, it would be great if we had a program for that.  I used the ms symptom checker here and took it in to two doctors.  One threw it back and said "I can't interpret that", the other spent time with it but incredibly tedius.  A program that found trends and interpreted them would be cool

Red
987762 tn?1331031553
COMMUNITY LEADER
I also think its a great idea though sometimes depending on your neuro's personality type, any list is interpreted in an unfavourable light, well maybe thats just my experience. No matter what i've written down it has never been read, a brief look of annoyance (I always watch their face) and its simply ignored. The only dr that has ever read a list i've written is my GP, he reads, his eyes seem to pop and then he gets serious. With out my list i'm a tad lost trying to remember things, so i'll continue to write my list or take photo's, even if its only for me.

I know its ridiculous in today's age of technology, people google everything no matter how old or young they are, patients are informed and the dr's that dont like that or read more into it than simply what it is, should just accept that the majority of their patients are no longer ignorant! The reality is, some dr's do read more, so when you do write your list, it is better to use your words and not the medical names, unless that medical term has been dx by a dr. For example 'numb' is better than using the medical term 'paresthesia'

I sometimes think the photo's i've taken of my purple feet and engorged veins are graffic and harder to dismiss than the other things i feel but aren't visible, so take photo's and take videos of a muscle in spasm etc it will help document it all.

Cheers......JJ
572651 tn?1531002957
you're so right, JJ. Some docs are threatened or put off by the patient offering any supporting materials.  

@Red - this could be done simply on a piece of paper, and doesn't have to be done on a computer.  

The brilliance of this idea to me is keeping it simple.

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