Saturday, March 28, 2009

Head Diary

Not this one, silly. The other one. Oh yeah, I have two. And charts.

Keeping an accurate, concise, informative head diary has been invaluable lately. Unfortunately my record keeping skills diminish while in pain or all weird with aura and my head diary is often less than informative. I always record a number, at the very least, for which I am usually very proud of myself. But recently when I've tried to go back and reference the information, it's not as helpful as I would have liked and my huge effort to write down a 2 for last Tuesday seems less than monumental.

My problem is hardly original. I get busy when I feel okay, and I can't think straight when I feel bad. I don't have the energy for all of that thinking. I could try to get the ever-helpful boyfriend to interview me every half an hour, but that just feels ridiculous. We'll see.

Since my "normal headache" is pretty constant, and my migraines occur every day or two, for hours or days, I can't write one entry about one headache. I have no idea when one headache ends and another begins. There are only levels of severity. I write one entry per day. An example:

3/24 *3*am, int z's, irritable, thc, *1-2*, sun+driving *4*, soma, shoot/stab r. eye, ach r. occ., dog flea shampoo smell, *5*, confused, smells, noise, light, AWFUL, tv too bright

This is a good entry, I've mentioned pain scale, triggers, symptoms, and treatments. I did not, however, mention what the weather was like, how I'd slept the night before or whether I'd been drinking enough water. These are very important factors in whether I'm going to have a headache or migrainous enxperience. I should be mentioning it at least once a day.

I'm still looking at food very carefully. I've been told that people with migraines always have food triggers. So, despite not having found any, I'm still trying to monitor my intake of trigger-possible foods and guage my head's responses. I've been doing this mentally, so far. Unfortunately, my head is not allowing me to retain the information any more. I've got to start writing it all down. This is going to be the most boring and the most elaborate diary I have ever written.

The key to my success here is going to be ease of usability. I should have a list of questions I answer at least once a day. I respond well to structure, especially if I provide my own.

This'll be another work in progress. In this case, I need to find the balance between the therapeutic aspects of detailed journaling and the threat of migraine from the writing and thinking and reading and concentrating. It's a daily struggle, but it is whether I try or not, so I might as well earn the pain.