We’ve all been there – sitting at the doctor’s office waiting to be seen. Maybe you’re filling out an intake form, reading an outdated magazine or scrolling through your phone, not thinking about much. Your name is finally called and you enter the doctor’s office.
“How can I help you?”
“So what seems to be bothering you?”
“What brings you in today?”
Your doctor, to some varying degree, will inevitably ask how you are feeling and why you are coming in to see them. If you are living with a chronic condition and see your physician on a regular schedule this question turns into some version of – “How have you been since the last we’ve spoken”. For many people living with Parkinson’s this is one of the very first questions they are asked during their doctor appointments. And for many, the typical response is short – “I’ve been good”, “It’s been ok”, “I haven’t been feeling well”, or perhaps “I’m not sure”.
As a person not living with Parkinson’s, I have a difficult time remembering what I had for lunch last week let alone how I’ve been feeling/doing living with a chronic condition. This is why logging and tracking symptoms is an important part of self-monitoring and self-care. Writing down symptoms helps us remember what happened, when things happened, and what they were like. Daily to weekly logs not only help us remember but also help us to be more accountable and to identify potential trends.
Maintaining journals of symptoms (i.e. symptom tracking) and activities keeps us ready to answer detailed questions and may help us start a better dialogue with our doctor, allowing them to better understand our overall well-being. This may lead to better treatment in the form of more personalized health recommendations – whether to take more medication or less, potentially to modify our diet and more.
Key Benefits of Tracking Symptoms & Activities
- Allows us to be actively engaged in our own personal health
- Helps us become more mindful
- Makes it easier for us to identify potential trends
- Keeps us ready to answer detailed questions during our doctor visits
What to Include
Symptoms related to Parkinson’s run the gamut between motor and non-motor symptoms. Every person living with Parkinson’s will experience the disease differently. Some might experience haziness or mental fog while others may feel anxious or depressive. As everyone is different, we recommend tracking any and all issues and to share these with your doctor.
Things to Consider
Something to consider when symptom tracking is having a clear and organized structure when journaling/tracking your symptoms. Things you can add include:
- What you noticed
- The time they start
- How long do they last
- Any other activities that you’ve done
- Medication intake
Symptom Tracking with Neptune Care
Neptune Care is your personalized self-monitoring and learning app. The app allows you to take ownership of your overall symptoms. With the AI-enabled solution, you automatically and continuously track your ON, OFF, and Dyskinesia motor states. Additionally, log events including your medications, meals, exercise, sleep, and symptoms to have a more holistic overview of your overall well-being.