I was hoping Chutz was going to chime in pretty quickly here.....she outlines it perfectly.
I do keep a pain journal, but I don't do mine every day (I find that my depression is worse if I focus on my pain like that too much). I will keep it for 10-15 days. (The doctor never reads the full thing anyway, it is mostly for me to be able to point out things to him).
I mark my pain level at baseline, what I did (or didn't do) to make it worse that day, what have I tried (ice/heat/stretching/TENS), did it help? What medication did I take, how much did it help? Then I have one last entry for TODAY'S PAIN SCALE 0-10.
By doing this, I found that on average my pain had actually been an average of 6-7, although I had been reporting "oh, I don't know, probably a 4 or sometimes 5." It seems we (or maybe its just me) minimize our pain to others, even the person who is helping us with the medication.
cervical fusion 2006
L4-5 surgery with cages, plates, and screws in 2005
MEDS: Fentanyl patch, Norco, Celexa, trazodone, and Flexeril
To handle yourself, use your head...to handle others, use your heart
I'm going to smile like nothing is wrong, act like everything is perfect, and pretend its not hurting me.