Be the change you want to see in yourself

Inspirational thoughts, ideas, quotes, and articles.


Posted by Catherine Morgan on February 1, 2007


Whether you are suffering from a chronic illness, pregnant, or just getting older. Keeping a personal medical journal, is important, and can really come in handy. Some may want to do this on a weekly or monthly basis, others on a daily basis, this will depend on the severity of your health issues.

STEP ONE: Just go out and get a notebook that you can use for this purpose alone. This journal will be helpful to you, as well as the medical practitioners you are working with. Especially, if you move, need to change doctors, or are hospitalized. Which reminds me, if you go on vacation, or extended holiday, bring your medical information with you, it will make it much easier if you need to see an unfamiliar physician, or be hospitalized.

STEP TWO: Begin with a page that states your medical history, as well as your current diagnosis or health issues. Take some time with this part. Make sure you include dates of hospitalizations, and prior surgeries, these are questions you will be asked if you see a new doctor or are hospitalized

STEP THREE: List your medications, if you take the same pills on a daily basis, list them on the front of your journal, if you have some that you take, as needed, list them with your daily entries. Make sure when you list your medications, you specify the dosage (ie: Placebo 1mg, 2 tablets, three times a day), also include why you are taking this medication (ie: blood pressure, depression, etc).

IMPORTANT: If you are taking any medications that you don’t normally take (ie: medications for pain, cold, fever), and you are taking them several times a day (ie: every four hours, every six hours), make sure you keep a close record of the times your are taking these medications. It is very easy to get confused, and take more than you are suppose to, and in many cases this could cause serious health issues.

STEP FOUR: Entries. Depending on your condition, you may want to use a page for each entry, or maybe just a few lines, what ever works for you. Of course, start with the date and time. Then, anything relevant to your medical condition (ie: blood pressure, fatigue, pain, blood sugar, etc), as well as your “emotional” condition (ie: happy, sad, depressed, anxious, etc).

The “emotional” thing may not seem very important, but if you have a chronic illness, you may feel very sad or down at times. It’s helpful to see your emotional history for yourself, not only so you can notify your doctor when needed, but also so you can see how many “good days” you are having. It’s easy to forget the good days, when you are feeling down, sometimes it’s just helpful to be able to look back and see for yourself. Little smiley faces (or sad faces) work good for this purpose.

STEP FIVE: Include any specific recommendations from your doctor (ie: amount of exercise, special diet requirements, etc). Don’t forget to include the dates and times of your upcoming doctor appointments. Many times people with chronic medical conditions will need to see several different doctors, and it can all get very confusing.

With that said, you can also find a spot in your journal to write down any questions you may want to ask the doctor during your appointment. Sometimes, you can feel rushed or just forget to ask the doctor something that was important to you. So, make a list, it’s a big help.

So, you have the idea. It seems like a lot of work, but once you get it started, it’s just a matter of maintaining it. Then the next time you have to go to the doctors, you will be able to give the doctor a better and more complete idea of how you have been since your last visit. You may even want to ask the doctor or nurse to jot down your vital signs, test results, or any other important information, right into your journal.

With all the confusion of chronic illness, prescriptions, doctors appointments, and so on. Keeping a personal medical journal for yourself, can go a long way to the betterment of your overall health and wellness. I think you will find it to be very helpful, to both you and your doctors. Good luck, and be well.













  2. dontbother said

    This is quite a good piece of advice. It’s something I personally do and suggest others do as well.

  3. Thanks, I’m glad you think so.

  4. kuntrygurl said

    I also do this and it’s a wonderful idea.

  5. Austin said

    I know this entry was awhile back but I wanted to comment anyway. The main reason my blog is online is for my care team to come to one spot and see how I’m doing. They can access my therapy assignments and everything from one location at any time of day or night. The blog I have serves as communication between me and my therapist as well as my medical doctor. I wrote notes to them, answer questions they ask me, do writing assignments and the like. I’ve found that doing it on the net this way gives me not only the ability to organize information for my doctors but get feedback from other people. I like it a lot.
    I joke around a lot on my blog too and talk about other stuff so I have special categories that my docs can flip right to to see where the assignments are. Medical blogging has helped my healing process along quite nicely.


  6. Thanks for the comment Austin…I’ll have to check out your site.

  7. debby ward said

    Would like to download the 5 steps. can you help me. Thanks,
    Debby Ward

  8. DIY Makeup said

    Hi hunnie, nice website! I really treasure this blog post.. I was wondering about this for a while now. This cleared a lot up for me! Do you have a rss feed that I can add?

  9. Marita Rusak said

    Is there a structured journal (say with blank sections for certain entries such as doctors visits, medications taken, illness experiences) ?

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