MS Ribbon Diary
WHY YOU NEED THE MS RIBBON DIARY!!!
Every time I go to the doctor he wants to know what has been going on with me the past month (or two). But when he used to ask me, “How have you been doing?” I normally said, “I’ve been okay.”
The truth is I am often NOT okay, but memory being what it is, and MS memory being worse, I sort of forget the bad times in between doctor visits and so the doctor never got an accurate picture of what was going on in my body and mind.
My daughters told me to write it down everyday, and I thought that was just a wonderful idea, problem was, when I was tired and didn’t feel like writing, those were the times I really needed to record my feelings.
Which brings me to the diary. I created this diary as a shortcut. Symbols to draw in, and a place for a few lines IF I so desired….the main thing was to have a true record, day to day, of how my body was doing.
The diary I am giving you is almost exactly like the one that works for me. It is easy to use, taking only a couple of minutes a day. Instead of writing things out, you can simply circle or mark the parts of your body giving you problems that day, and you can draw in a happy, sad, or neutral face in the circle to let the doctor know your mental state.
Each day you will see a word of the day and a quote. I find it is important to stay focused on the things we can change, the things we can be proactive about. I like the idea of a word a day to motivate me and help me to appreciate all of the good things I still have in my life.
I truly hope you will enjoy using the diary.
I am offering you a few different ways to use the book because not everyone is the same.
You can print it out and take it with you to the doctor’s office…and you can download it over and over again to use each month.
You can fill it in online – it is a writeable PDF
You can order it from Amazon.com in book form if you don’t wish to download it from the computer. (There is a charge to order from Amazon)
I usually print out the pages and take them with me to the doctor’s office, but if you want it only for your personal use, it is still a good way to gauge the number of relapses you have a year or whether a certain medication is causing you a problem.
Each page of the diary has the same elements.
DATE– this is included so that you can keep track of WHEN you were feeling a certain way, and also by dating your entries you can tell how long a symptom is affecting you.
WORD OF THE DAY – As I mentioned above, the word of the day is simply a way of focusing on something positive. Hopefully you will keep it in mind as you go about your daily activities, or as you get ready for bed.
QUOTE – the quote is there to inspire you. I love it when people say things I wish I had said!
BODY TEMPLATES –FRONT/BACK – You can record any problems you are having by marking the appropriate body part…so if you are feeling numbness and tingling in you left leg you could color in that leg front and back on the outline.
Crayons and color pencils are great for this. A red or orange circle on the spot where your eyes are will indicate you are having problems there…you can always elaborate by adding the words as well. Example: If you are having optic neuritis…the abbreviation ON next to the eye area should tell the story.
This is my favorite part of the diary because sometimes I can’t articulate where it hurts but I can easily color in the spot and put a few words next to it like – ‘burning pain’
THE BIG CIRCLE – this is the place where you will record your emotional health that day. Depressed…a sad face, Angry…Happy…Just OK? Draw it in. You know what they say about a picture and a thousand words!
Below is a kooky kind of chart, but it gets the point across doesn’t it? You can use it as a guideline.
Feeling like a 0 or a 10 today?
THE WRITE SPACE
What is a diary without a place to write. I know it’s not a huge space, but enough to get a few words committed to paper about how you have been doing that day. And sometimes a few words is all you can manage.
Just try to make time to jot down the main things, if you need to clarify one of the marks on the body template.
Obviously there is no right way to use the diary, there is only your way. What works for you is what counts. But, if you can think of other things that would improve the book, please, please let me know. I would love to hear from you.
All I can say is that this simple tool has helped me….and it is my hope that the diary works for you too!
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