Multiple sclerosis is an unpredictable disease that can fluctuate at any time. It’s difficult to predict something that behaves so unexpectedly, but one thing you can do to feel in control is track your symptoms.
Those on our medical team often tell us to take notes about our symptoms before appointments so we can provide clinicians with as much detail as possible, right? The problem with this is that we don’t receive any information about how to track symptoms quickly and effectively to better help clinicians.
Clinicians mostly rely on us to remember details. They’ll ask us questions like, “When did you start this treatment?” Or, “How long has that symptom been happening?” Or, “Did you take anything when this started?” The answers to these types of questions can be game changers in terms of our health outcomes.
But that means we must rely on remembering information about things that happened a long time ago. Who’s to say that the events actually happened like we remember them? Any information given to your clinician is crucial, particularly for treatment plans. Misremembered or bad information can lead to unnecessary tests, medications, or scans, which cost us time, money, and a lot of our precious energy.
Tracking our symptoms is our way of feeling empowered in our healthcare management. It ensures that medical personnel — particularly if you see several doctors — have an up-to-date and reliable record of symptoms so they can treat them more effectively and accurately.
But how do we track symptoms effectively and provide that information to members of our healthcare team?
How to do it
Many options are out there to help us track our symptoms. The main one that most people think of are symptom-tracking apps on your watch or phone. These tracking apps provide many benefits, and you can use more than one, based on your needs.
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