A record of recovery can be kept in two different ways – physically or digitally or even a combination of the two. Keep in mind that there is no right or wrong way to record your journey.
Physical Recovery Records
First, we will talk about keeping a record of your recovery physically. Physically means keeping data in a hard copy which includes diaries, planners, files, records and on paper. Keeping a physical copy of these records also allows you to make copies using a photocopier. Digital copies can also be made by scanning the paper copies through a scanner or photocopier.
During your recovery you will likely receive many paper copies including letters for appointments, leaflets and copies of medical records from healthcare organisations. Many of these documents may be useful to keep such as ones including medication details and treatment plans. Other useful documents could include MRI scan results and reports from when you were hospitalised.
I would advise you to keep all these types of documents in a dedicated physical file. If you ever need to look back on your treatments or reports then you have easy access to them all in one place. Many medical organisations do not share your medical information with each other so bringing this file with you to medical appointments could be useful.
Other physical records include the ones you make about your own recovery. Diaries and notebooks can be a good way to write down your thoughts and feelings throughout your recovery journey. Making notes using pen and paper can be cheap and there is no relying on technology to work correctly when you need it. Carrying around a small notebook and pen could also be easier than carrying around a laptop or tablet.
The downside to physical records is that they could be misplaced or lost if they are not stored correctly. Over time you may also build up lots of physical records which would take up lots of space in comparison to digital records.
Digital Recovery Records
A digital record is information kept electronically or online. Examples of these include a document or spreadsheet on your PC but could also include electronic copies of physical records such as letters. Other examples could also include information stored on apps on your phone such as Health and MyFitnessPal.
Creating digital records may be easier for those who struggle to or cannot write due to their Transverse Myelitis symptoms. Transcription software can be used to write the words down onto documents digitally for those who cannot type.
A downside to digital records is that they could be lost or deleted if the technology storing them fails. Be aware of this and make backups regularly to stop this from happening.
The MyMyelitis Recovery Tracker is a free spreadsheet designed for you to track your recovery from Transverse Myelitis. Sign up to the MyMyelitis email list to get your Recovery Tracker now to start recording your recovery now!
Physical or Digital?
The choice of recording your recovery physically or digitally lies with you. It may be that due to your symptoms you may be unable to record your recovery in certain ways. I would recommend keeping copies both physically and digitally just in case your files are misplaced, lost or deleted.
Another way to choose how to record your recovery could involve how likely you are to continue recording your recovery. Writing a handwritten journal entry about your diet, physical therapy and how your symptoms vary each day may sound like a good idea to begin with. But how likely are you to keep these journal entries up over the long term? Thinking of which ways to record your recovery which may be easier than others to help build the habit first.