BOOK REVIEW ON DAILY SYMPTOM TRACKERS…

I have written before on how keeping a diary of your symptoms can be a great help for your GP or Consultant to totally understand your condition and symptoms. As I have mentioned before I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia simply because my spinal consultant asked me to write down every pain and ache after my epidural for six weeks so he could see if the injections were worth giving. After reading my diary he immediately said he was sure I was also suffering from Fibromyalgia and referred me to a Rheumatologist.

When I spotted these books I thought you would all agree with me that just the look of the pretty Fibromyalgia (and other conditions ) symptom checker would prompt me to use them on a daily basis.

The Fibromyalgia CFS ME MS Cancer Daily Symptoms Tracker: A 3-month Fill in the Blank Health and Well-Being Self-Assessment Diary Journal Tracker Logbook… Chronic Pain and Invisible Illness sufferers…’ is a A 3-month fill-in-the-blank health and well-being self-management diary journal tracker logbook for Chronic Pain and Invisible Illness sufferers. Worksheets include: Personal InformationMedical ConditionsMedicationsHealthcare ContactsAppointmentsDaily Symptom tracking. Weekly Symptom SummariesFood and Beverage trackingNotes .Great for people with:FibromyalgiaPolymyalgiaChronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)Myalgic Encephalamyelitis (ME)Multiple Sclerosis (MS)CancerChronic PainUndiagnosed Conditions. Take the diary to doctor’s appointments to help remind you of often-forgotten-to-mention symptoms experienced and to work with your treating health professionals to gain diagnosis, explore and provide feedback on treatment options to self-manage your diagnosed and undiagnosed medical conditions and symptoms, the medications taken, natural remedies tried, and help identify your specific patterns and triggers by Char Casey, Owner / Founder, eDiY Publishing.

Char was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and possibly MS in late 2016. It took 5 long, frustrating years of doctors appointments and tests before finally receiving a diagnosis. Getting a diagnosis was just the first battle; getting proper treatments and finding doctors who knew, understood and or believed in the diagnosis and didn’t make accusations of hypochondria, mental health issues and drug seeking were the bigger, real battles. Char finally met the right healthcare professionals in 2018, and although symptoms are still ever-present, It has somewhat improved – though she would love it to improve further.

At the height of Char’s pain and fatigue symptoms, and feeling completely alone and unsupported by family, friends and health care professionals, out of frustration she started recording her daily symptoms in a spiral notebook and taking it to appointments with her in the hope to prove her symptoms and would be taken seriously and receive treatments to ease up the severity. But, Char struggled to write (among other things), and so, already a self-publishing author, she decided to create a simple to fill in book for her to use. 

Over a number of weeks, Char created the files, published and then ordered proof copies and started filling it in. She took the ‘diary‘ to Pain Clinic appointments, where she finally started receiving the diagnosis and treatments. The Pain Clinic team – consisting of Pain Specialists, Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists, Psychologists and Psychiatrists – each commented on the daily symptoms tracker which helped them to learn what information they considered important / unimportant, and layout the information so that it made sense for them (as well as for Char).

Char says she is often still bedridden for days and weeks on end, and so revised the daily symptoms tracker to reflect the advice received and recently decided to publish it so that others could track their symptoms too, to give her something to do – she says ‘it is frustrating not being able to work or even do housework most of the time.’
Propped up in bed, Char started out only being able to do 5 to 10 minutes worth before she became too fatigued to continue. But she is now able to work longer – so long as she takes frequent breaks and listen to her body signals.
I am sure we all relate to Char and I just felt these two books were worth posting on here. They would make a lovely gift if you know someone who is struggling to get a diagnosis and may help someone along to a more comfortable life.
Char’s second book is called Invisible Illness Daily Symptoms Tracker. A 3 Month Fill in the Blank Health and Well-Being Self Assessment Diary which to me, looks far more masculine and perfect for that gentleman you may know who doesn’t like talking about his symptoms. Both books are available from Amazon.

HOW TO BE INSPIRED TO WRITE A BOOK…

One of my lovely blog friends (Deacongill Gods School) wrote a post recently about her daughter who had written a book and got it published. Convinced it would never get published her daughter was in total shock when she realised she also had to talk about her book at a book launch attended by over 100 people.

This young lady ( according to her Mum) is an introvert who has been very honest in her book about how her own failures and questions her book ‘on failure’. In the details on her book she asks ‘Does failure, or feelings of failure, affect you to the point where you find it hard to move on? Do you avoid situations where you might fail or find it difficult to confront failure? Caris Grimes takes a frank, no-nonsense look at different aspects of failure and what we can learn from them….

I am sure there are many other people will relate to what Chris means about failure but this book would inspire anyone to put pen to paper and give it a go. Caris’s book in her own words ‘is a book on failure’ but I think the word ‘failure’ is used far too much nowadays putting pressure on anyone who maybe feeling that way.

I have to admit I always felt a bit of a ‘failure’ when I was young, not very good academic wise leaving school with just two ‘o’levels and not in the least bit sporty. I really didn’t know where I would go when I left school. Straight to secretarial school was where myself and my parents decided and that’s where I began to flourish.

We are far to quick to pull people down rather than praise them and I just want to say congratulations to Caris Grimes on writing, finishing and getting her book published and to my blog friend Gill, who I am sure is one very proud Mum.

You can get Caris Grimes book Failing Intelligently Facing and Learning from the Impact of Failure from WH Smith, Amazon and other good bookshops.

‘BAD SCIENCE’ – A BOOK TO MAKE YOU GIGGLE…

Bad Science by Ben Goldacre – “Ben Goldacre’s wise and witty bestseller, shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize, lifts the lid on quack doctors, flaky statistics, scaremongering journalists and evil pharmaceutical corporations.”

Ben was a junior doctor and academic working for the NHS but since 2003 Dr Ben Goldacre has been exposing dodgy medical data in his popular Guardian column. In this eye-opening book, he takes on the MMR hoax and misleading cosmetics ads, acupuncture and homoeopathy, vitamins and mankind’s vexed relationship with all manner of ‘toxins’. Along the way, the self-confessed ‘Johnny Ball cum Witchfinder General’ performs a successful detox on a Barbie doll, sees his dead cat become a certified nutritionist and probes the supposed medical qualifications of ‘Dr’ Gillian McKeith.

Full spleen and satire, Ben Goldacre takes us on a hilarious, invigorating and ultimately alarming journey through the bad science we are fed daily by hacks and quacks.

Although this is not a new book out I picked it up and couldn’t put it down. His humour is contagious and it does certainly ‘make you think‘ on some of his points in particular misleading cosmetic ads. I don’t think it will stop me from taking the odd vitamin and trying acupuncture again but it did make me laugh out loud at some points. Enjoy …