Keeping an IC/BPS pain diary can help you keep track of your pain, enhance communication with your healthcare providers, and document progress.
Describing interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome (IC/BPS) pain can be difficult. Some people find it challenging to talk about IC/BPS pain, to find just the right words to describe what their pain feels like, to remember when IC/BPS pain was at its worst, or when they last felt their best. However, your healthcare provider needs detailed information about your IC/BPS pain to plot out its causes and triggers and build a treatment plan. Keeping an IC/BPS pain diary can help you keep track of your pain, enhance communication with your healthcare providers, and document progress.
To get started, simply download a free pain diary from the internet or create your own. Links to four examples of pain diaries can be found below:
- American Cancer Society Pain Diary
- Resource Guide for People With Pain
- AGS Foundation Daily Pain Diary
Once you have your pain diary, start to record the following:
- where in your body you feel pain
- when the pain occurs (morning/evening/constant)
- the intensity of the pain
- the frequency of episodes
- how long each pain episode lasts
- what activities or times of day are associated with the pain (what activities make it worse or better/when it flares or lessens)
- which pain medications you’re taking (and how frequently)
- whether you get pain relief from a medication (and for how long)
Consistency is the key. If you make notes in your diary on a regular basis (daily or several times a week), you’ll have a complete picture of your pain experience and patterns will emerge.