The most useful tool for migraine specialists is the migraine diary.Migraine Canada
Keeping a migraine diary has been one of the most helpful things I’ve done for tracking my migraine symptoms and managing the disease. I wish I had started so much sooner.
But as it turned out, it took a pandemic lockdown to make me start taking migraine management seriously, and provide time to figure out how to do it. So this is not a “how-to” post at all, just showing you the work I did and why. Your starting point will be different, which is great. I believe we can all learn from each other.
First Migraine Diary
This first attempt was in one of these Moleskine notebooks. I was looking into using a Bullet Journal type system at the time. If you do an internet search for “migraine bullet journal” you’ll find a huge variety of examples and tools that lovely, generous people have shared.
I took bits and pieces from a few different places, and cobbled together this layout to start with. I changed it a little as I went along, tried adding some more trackers. But I stuck with this general format for six months.
Looking back at it now, it’s a bit of a mess visually. But it really helped me to consider which symptoms, habits, meds and other factors to include in my tracking. It turned out to be a great jumping off point for my migraine tracking journey, and I’m so glad I started.
My process has evolved a few times, and I’ll share those evolutions too, in hopes that they’re helpful for any of you living with chronic issues.
Stationery in the photo
- pencil crayons
- yellow highlighter
- date stamp (old, similar)
- pencil case (mine is old, and technically a makeup bag from society6)
P.S. This is the quote on the first page of this notebook:
Migraine … is one of the top five causes of disability worldwide. For many individuals with migraine, the chronic nature of the disease significantly diminishes their quality of life and is isolating. In addition, depression, anxiety, and sleep disturbances are common comorbidities.Development and Implementation of the Integrative Toolbox for Headache Management: Headache, The Journal of Head and Face Pain