When my illness went undiagnosed for months, the list of doctors I'd seen, tests I'd had, and medicines I'd tried grew beyond my ability to remember them. I created an illness timeline for my own and for physicians' reference. It included when each symptom began, when I had each test, when I started and stopped each treatment along with its results, and when I saw each specialist. I now have two timelines: a full one for me and a two-page one for physicians. Doctors don't have time during appointments to read more than that, in my experience.
Photo: Jay Reed, Flickr Creative Commons
Darla Nagel is an editor and writing tutor who has an invisible chronic illness. She wants to help other patients and enlighten health care professionals about our experiences. If you’d like to be alerted whenever she writes a new post, sign up by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.