Keeping track of your symptoms

One of the key ingredients in proving up your case is being able to explain your symptoms. This could be true regardless of the specific condition you suffer from. For example, if you suffer from back pain, the judge will be interested to know the location of the pain, the severity of the pain, what the pain feels like (sharp, achy, tingly), how often you feel the pain and how the pain affects you. If you have diabetes, you will be testing your blood sugar and you may feel the effects of the low blood sugar or the high blood sugar. Further, it is very helpful if you write down your test results on a daily basis to see how well you are controlling your insulin.  If you have headaches, the judge will want to know the location of the headache, how often you have a headache and things like that.

The best way to keep track of these symptoms is to keep a diary. It does not have to be fancy. But it should be both legible and in chronological order. When you have a symptom, you should write it down.

For example, if you have headaches, you should write down when the headache started, what it felt like, how long it lasted, what you did during the headache, and how you felt when it actually went away (were you fatigued, etc.). You should write down what you thinkmight have caused the headache. If you took medication, you should write down the medication you took, when you took it, whether it had an effect and the effect it had.

These diaries are invaluable. All too often, when you are at the hearing, you will be asked questions about your symptoms. If you have documentation to back you up, it provides much more credibility for your symptoms. Typically, the diary will be copied and submitted electronically for the judge to review.

If you have a condition that does not allow you to write down in a diary, such as seizures, then you should have anyone who has witnessed the symptoms to write down as much detail as possible.

When you meet with me, I will discuss the specific condition you have and tell you what kinds of things to write down to help document your condition.

Keeping track of your symptoms