Chronic Illness and Memory-keeping: Why It Is Important to Describe Your Symptoms as They Happen

Chronic illness can be unpredictable and ever-changing. It's important to document your journey in order to help others understand what you're going through and so that you have a record of your own experiences. Here's why memory-keeping is an important part of chronic illness and how to get started.

For many of us with chronic illness, our symptoms can sometimes be so severe that it feels impossible to keep track of everything we’re experiencing. It can be difficult enough just to get through the day-to-day!

However, it’s important to try to document our symptoms as accurately as possible, especially during flares.

Why? Because our memories can be unreliable, and we may not realize the full extent of what we’re going through until after the flare has passed.

Chronic illness can be unpredictable and ever-changing. It's important to document your journey in order to help others understand what you're going through and so that you have a record of your own experiences. Here's why memory-keeping is an important part of chronic illness.
Chronic illness can be unpredictable and ever-changing. It's important to document your journey in order to help others understand what you're going through and so that you have a record of your own experiences. Here's why memory-keeping is an important part of chronic illness.
Chronic illness can be unpredictable and ever-changing. It's important to document your journey in order to help others understand what you're going through and so that you have a record of your own experiences. Here's why memory-keeping is an important part of chronic illness.
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Disclaimer: This blog post contains affiliate links. I may earn a small commission to fund my coffee-drinking habit if you use these links to make a purchase. You will not be charged extra, and you’ll keep me supplied with caffeine. It’s a win for everyone. I am not a medical professional, and nothing stated in this article should be mistaken for medical advice…

Chronic Illness Memory-Keeping Journal Prompt

This week’s journal challenge is to write down your symptoms as graphically as you can while experiencing them, including your emotions. Then, without looking at your notes, do the same a few days or weeks after the flare ends, but before a new one begins, and compare the difference. You may be surprised at how much you forget! This exercise can be repeated for every flare throughout the year.

Journaling, in general, is a valuable tool for chronic illness management. Not only can it help us keep track of our symptoms, but it can also serve as a form of self-care. Writing about our experiences can help us make sense of them, process our emotions, and release some of the stress and anxiety that comes with living with a chronic illness. So even if you don’t have a flare right now, why not give journaling a try? You might just find it helpful in more ways than one.

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Related Reading: Chronic Illness Flare Amnesia: What Is It?

Do you have any tips for keeping track of symptoms during a flare? Share them in the comments below! And if you’re not already journaling, I hope this post has inspired you to give it a try.

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Published by Cynthia Covert

Diagnosed in 2001 with psoriasis, followed by fibromyalgia, psoriatic arthritis, endometriosis, and later a botched hysterectomy turned her world upside down. Cynthia shares her experience, advice, and tips for how to make life with chronic pain easier and less painful.

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