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Journal of Daily Experiences

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          The items on this page are designed to help you understand, track and monitor a variety of issues surrounding brain injury. It is broken down into areas of daily functioning and feeling states. Each section addresses specific issues and is followed by links to additional information and resources.

       You Know You Need Help When... 

    The items on the foregoing  Journal of Daily Experiences,  represent many of the impairments or difficulties that commonly follow brain injury. Individually, the effects of such impairments may be quite subtle, but collectively, they can be quite devastating. The Journal of Daily Experiences was designed to track and measure such impairments. 

    You know you need help when such impairments substantially interfere with your ability to perform your normal daily activities. It is a good idea to keep your doctor advised of the appearance of any of the signs and symptoms on this chart.  This chart can help you identify things that you want to change that are not especially troublesome. You should consult a doctor regarding any and all items on that list that causes you to feel concern. 

note: The appearance of many of these signs and symptoms could signify the presence of serious medical problems. 

          Tips for living with brain injury

  • Avoid high stress activities several hours before bedtime.
  • Allow time for a gradual wake up in the morning
  • Analyze and accommodate your new learning style.
  • The brain is easily fatigued after brain injury. 
  • Build rest breaks into daily activities
  • Create a graduated program of mental and physical exercises
  • Adjust your expectations.
  • Be patient 
  • Slight changes in daily routines can be disorienting
  • Recovery from brain injury is typically a life-long process
  • The up and down cycles of energy and fatigue are frustrating and confusing. 
          Don't hesitate to call us with additional questions and concerns at 206-621-8558

      Instructions. Many head injury impairments resemble the normal, human limitations that we all experience from time-to-time even with out a brain injury. What distinguishes brain injury impairments from  normal  is: the degree and frequency of their appearance; the circumstances surrounding their appearance; and their disabling characteristics. 

Instructions: Read the list of feelings and behaviors. In the brackets provided fill in the number that overall best describes how you felt today. 

Fill in 0 = not present during the last 24 hours. 1 = minimal, present but did not interfere with activities; 2 = mild, some interference with activities; 3 = moderate, greatly interfered with activities; 4 = extreme, interfered with all activities. 

In the blank next to each item describe what you did today, if anything, about that particular item. ( Exercises, heating pad, listened to music, telephoned someone, medication, time-out.) 

Click here to go to the Journal of Daily Experiences below 

 

Journal of Daily Experiences
  Feelings and Behavior  0 1 2 3 4
Action taken 
Good 
Result
Poor 
Result
1. Altered consciousness                
2. Aggression - verbal / physical                
3. Agitation unable to settle down                
4. Anger                 
5. Anxiety - vague fear, worry, anticipation of doom                
5. Aura or weird reverie - trance                
6. Backache or pain                
7. Busy (more than usual)                
8. Depression / felt sad or blue                
9. Difficulty concentrating                
10. Difficulty falling asleep                
11. Difficulty making decisions                
12. Difficulty Reading                
13. Difficulty communicating                
14. Difficulty finding words                
15. Difficulty understanding                
16. Difficulty being understood                
17. Diminished analytical skills                
18. Diminished capacity for reality testing                
19. Diminished initiation (starting things)                
20. Diminished execution (doing things)                
21. Dizziness or vertigo                
22. Easily distracted                
23. Eating more than usual                
24. Excitable                
25 Fatigue or tiredness                
26. Feelings of observing self from afar                
27. Feelings of dread                
28. Feeling everythingís an effort                
29. Feelings of well being                
30. Feeling unsure of yourself                
30. Food cravings (type)                
31. Forgetfulness                
32. Generalized body aches                
33. Guilt feelings                
34. Headache or pains                
35. Hearing music that others donít.                
36. Heart racing or pounding                
37. Heartburn                
38. Hot flashes or sudden feelings of warmth                
39. Hostility                
40. Impatience                
41. Impulsiveness                
42. Indigestion / upset stomach                
43. Irritability                
44. Joint pain or stiffness                
45. Less desire to talk or move                
46. Loneliness                
47. Loss of appetite                
48. Loss of conscience or fainting                
50. Metallic taste in mouth                
51. Muscle spasms or twitching                
52. Muscle weakness                
53. Nausea                
54. Nervousness                
55. Nightmares                
56. Numbness and tingling                
57. Neck pain                
58. Out of control feelings                
59. Pain or discomfort -- specify                
60. Panic feelings                
61. Poor night vision                
62. Rapid mood changes                
63. Raging behavior                
64. Restlessness                
65. Reduced food intake (ate less than usual)                
66. Sensation of skin crawling                
67. Sensation of weight gain                
68. Sensitivity to cold                
69. Sensitivity to touch                
70. Sensitivity to noise or sounds                
71. Sensitivity to light                
72. Seizures                
73. Sexual desire                
74. Smelling odors or fragrances that others donít smell                
75. Skin breakout / acne                
76. Sleeping too much                 
77. Swelling of hands or feet                
78. Tearfulness / crying spells                
79. Tension                
80. Tinnitus - ringing in ears                
81. Unable to get going                
82. Vague longing or yearning                
83. Vision, blurred                
84. Vision double                
85. Vision, spots or floaters                
86. Visual blind spots                
87. Vomiting                
88. Waking up during the night                
89. Awoke too early                
90. Weight loss                
91. Worrisome thoughts                 
92. Anything else?                

93. Did you take any medicines, vitamins, minerals, or nutritional supplements Today? 
No __ Yes __ Record number(s) and amount. 
94. Did you contact a health professional today for any reason? 
No __ Yes __   Type of professional and reason:
95. Did you contact anyone else today about your health? (friend, neighbor, husband, etc.) 
No __ Yes __   Give relationship and reason 

End note: Consult A doctor regarding any items on this list that causes you to feel concern. The appearance of many of these signs and symptoms could signify the presence of serious medical problems. 

You Know You Need Help When... 

    The items on the foregoing  Journal of Daily Experiences,  represent many of the impairments or difficulties that commonly follow brain injury. Individually, the effects of such impairments may be quite subtle, but collectively, they can be quite devastating. The Journal of Daily Experiences was designed to track and measure such impairments. 

    You know you need help when such impairments substantially interfere with your ability to perform your normal daily activities. It is a good idea to keep your doctor advised of the appearance on any of the symptoms on this chart.  This chart can help you identify things that you want to change that are not especially troublesome. You should consult a doctor regarding any and all items on that list that causes you to feel concern. 

  Conditions such as auras, altered consciousness, weird reveres, flashing lights in your head, metallic taste in your mouth, smelling fragrances that others do not smell, or hearing music that others do not hear, muscle spasms or twitching, feelings of disembodiment or observing yourself from afar, vague longing or yearning, raging, crying or laughing for no apparent reason might signify seizure activity. In such cases you might want to pursue a seizure assessment. Your doctor and/or The National Epilipsy Foundationhttp://www.headinjury.com/linksepil.htm,  can refer you to a center in your area where you can obtain such an assessment. 

     Anger, anxiety, and anxiousness, rapid mood swings, depression, feeling blue, fearful, guilt, rapid mood swings, listlessness, paranoia, feelings of panic, irritability, and loneliness and other such symptoms might signify psychological disorders. For such conditions you should first seek a medical assessment; then choose a doctor with special training and interests in diagnosing and treating psychological disorders that result from brain injury, see Doctor Finder

     Difficulties concentrating, mental tracking, making decisions, executing or doing things, initiating or starting things, along with diminished analytical skills, diminished capacity for reality testing , attentional defects, etc., have to do with cognition or knowing and doing things. Often such problems respond well to cognitive rehabilitation. Centers that specialize in diagnosing and treating head injuries are good sources of cognitive rehabilitation. Visit the Rehab Facilities,   http://www.headinjury.com/rehabfacility.htm, page on headinjury.com for a rehab center near you.

Difficulties communicating, stuttering, finding and expressing words, understanding and being understood are the stuff of speech pathology. The National Aphasia Foundation can provide information about such communications disorders. Conditions such as, blurred and/or double vision, floaters, blind spots and visual neglect fall within the purview of opthometrics, or vision specialists that treat vision difficulties caused by physical trauma, such as head injury. See Vision Disorders

    Heart pounding, rapid pulse, shallow respiration, headache or pain, tinnitus or ringing in the ears, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, might signify brain injury impairments they could also indicate other medical conditions, and should be evaluated by a knowledgeable physician. Refer to the Doctor Finder, http://www.headinjury.com/doctorfind.htm,  page on headinjury.com  for guidelines on selecting and evaluating  doctors and practitioners that treat these and other such conditions. Also see TBI Programs and Support Groups


 
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