If you have any doubt about whether you should document your medication side effects, consider this scenario:
“Oh my gosh,” you think as you stumble out of your mashed-up car, holding a hand to your head, “my head really hurts.” You have just survived a car accident, and the whiplash is terrible. Your neck is throbbing, your head is pounding and all you want to do is crawl into bed.
Your doctor prescribes you a muscle relaxer and a pain reliever. He tells you to keep track of your symptoms and make sure to alert him as to any side effects. You smile and nod, regretting the action immediately – it hurts your neck and head!
A few days later, you become incredibly dizzy for about half an hour. You write this off as part of your bad whiplash and forget about it.
The next day, you are nauseous. The nausea comes and goes, and at one point it becomes so bad you have trouble eating. Again, you think it is related to the car accident and not the medications.
When you meet with your doctor for a follow-up a week later, you don’t remember to tell him about these problems. It’s been a while since the problems happened, and you did not write them down. He doesn’t put you on medications that would alleviate these symptoms, because you forget to tell him entirely.
If you’d written them down, it would have been a different story. The symptoms were because of the medications, not because of the whiplash, and your doctor would have been able to tell the difference.
Trying to remember things just doesn’t work. We all have terrible memories, and that’s okay. We can’t even remember what we had for breakfast yesterday. (Eggs? Toast? Who knows.) That is why we created a medication journal for you to download [PDF].
In your medication journal, you will want to include things like:
To make journaling easier, we have created a printable post-accident journal so that you don’t forget any important details from your accident and recovery. Download as PDF.
Want to check out other medication journals? Here are some of the best journals that we could find. We hope there’s one that meets your needs exactly: