At the beginning of 2021 I began my most comprehensive migraine diary. I took into account the trial and error from my first two attempts (here and here). And although I loved the flexibility of the bullet-journal method in those, I wasn’t prepared to draw out weekly layouts any more than I had to.
And so, I purchased an Inamio planner as a basis for tracking. (The 2021 edition is no longer available, but a 2022-2023 edition is linked below.)
I chose it for several reasons:
- A 24 hour day.
- Grid paper.
- Additional space along the bottom and one side.
- Lots of little extras that I like, such as a pocket in the back cover, a pen loop, two bookmark ribbons, and an elastic closure.
I used it for six months, from January to June of 2021. After that, I really couldn’t continue just for practical reasons. But the practice of such comprehensive documentation was incredibly insightful, sometimes even mindful. It gave me a sense of taking control over my migraine which was empowering.
What I Documented
- Migraine, time and severity of symptoms and attacks (yellow highlighter)
- Sleep (grey highlighter and top mini bar chart))
- Anxiety, none in this week, yay! (blue highlighter)
- Medications and treatments (noted at the time)
- Weather (stickers)
- Moon phases (stickers)
- Barometric pressure (top line graph)
- Temperature (bottom line graph)
- Wind speed (mini line graph)
- Hydration (daily bar chart)
- Activity (daily bar chart)
- Caffeine intake (stickers)
- Alcohol intake, none in this week, but I learned to draw a little wine glass 🙂
- Stress, Energy and Mood: level 1-3 (mini line graphs)
(I had hoped to document humidity levels too but couldn’t find a reliable way to do it.)
Additionally, in the mini month at the top of the left margin I kept track of the number of migraine days/month which is important for diagnostic purposes.
Now, I’m so proud of this dataset I’ve created. I learned a lot about what was important to track for my symptoms and what wasn’t. For example, although it’s important to stay hydrated in general, for me drinking eight glasses of water a day didn’t seem to make much difference. But afternoon naps are quite beneficial, if only for twenty minutes. Which I’m very happy about.
I still refer back to this migraine diary from time to time, when my symptoms seem to be changing, or I’m discouraged with my current tracking. And since I have the diary as a template, I’m confident I could repeat this exercise at another time, maybe just for a few weeks, or a month. To make sure I’m still documenting things that matter.
Stationery in the photo
- Tombow dual-brush pens (N89 and N75)
- Mildliner (warm tones, yellow)
- Gel pen
- Pencil case (received as a gift, similar here)
P.S. I curated a variety of stickers, apps, and websites to create this migraine diary. I’ll outline all of them in a future post with a link back to this one for reference.