The Hypochondriac’s Diary

How often do you feel pain?

What parts of your body are most often painful?

How many of your pains become chronic?

How often do you get sick?

If you would like to know these things, then the Hypochondriac’s Diary might be right for you. Click here to watch the talk I gave on the Hypochondriac’s Diary at the Quantified Self Global Conference 2015.

What is the Hypochondriac’s Diary?

The “Hypochondriac’s Diary” is a tool I am currently tinkering with to record injury, illness, pain and related physical sensations as well as the context in which they were felt. The idea for the Diary came from the desire to have a more accurate patient symptom history. I began experimenting with ways to capture this data for myself in 2012. The Diary has taken several forms and currently is a google spreadsheet where entries are organized by body region.

What is the purpose of the Diary:

1) Help identify risk factors and early warning signs of health problems by aggregating them and allowing them to be seen
over time. (Ex: See that your right hip is feeling stiffer over time and warrants professional assessment.)

2) Help identify the cause of health problems when there is a delay between cause and effect.  (Ex: Find out if there are patterns to when you have back pain.)

3) Test the effectiveness of interventions, particularly when there desired effect infrequent. (Ex: See if a balance program reduces the number of ankle sprains in a year.)

4) Pain relief? For me, knowing that my feeling is recorded and the “problem has been heard” has a pain relieving effect. I don’t know how such recording would effect others as I could imagine that the diary may encourage an unhealthy hyper-vigilance in some.

Click here to access the Diary yourself. Select ‘File’-> ‘make a copy’ to  save a unique copy for yourself that you will be able to edit. Below is an embedded version of the diary so you can preview it.

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