ME Symptoms Chart - print one out here I've attached a symptom chart to this post that can be downloaded and printed out, in case anyone thinks using the chart might be helpful for them. There is a blank symptom chart, and an example of how it is used. Click on the images, below, to view, and click on the PDF file names to download to use. I created the chart myself, so please feel free to use it any way you like. Please send me a private message if a Word file or an Open Office file is preferred. ______________________________________________________________________ During the first few years of having ME, I used to use a symptom chart to plot how my symptoms varied, and alongside I would make notes of what I was doing in my life. My ME has always fluctuated massively and I found plotting the chart really helpful for learning about my own illness and for gaining insight into what made my symptoms worse and what helped to improve my symptoms. The way I used the chart was that I would make a note of the severity of my symptoms once a day and, alongside, i would make notes about my activities, daily events, and any medications and supplements that I was taking. I found the chart really helpful when i was at a stage of trying to understand what was going on with my illness. The chart was helpful to show me what made my symptoms worse... By looking at where my symptoms began to get worse on the chart, I could look at what event occurred just before that dip, to see whether it was a case of over-exertion, a stressful event, or if it was related to a particular supplement that i was taking etc. I learnt some unexpected things, such as whether medications or health supplement were helping my ME symptoms or making them worse. And it showed me how important it was to avoid over-activity, and that I could use 'resting' as a way to stabilise my symptoms. The chart is also helpful in another way... When I am in the middle of a relapse, it feels like there will never be an end to it. I used to use the chart to see how long I'd been in the relapse. This was helpful because it showed me that a relapse wasn't permanent, and that i did have better times. It showed me that it was likely that the symptoms would ease in time. It meant that I could look at my illness with perspective, instead of thinking that I was going to be in the deepest of ruts forever. The chart was also helpful for when I went to see the doctor, to remind me how I'd been over the past few months. It also helped me when I came to filling in benefits forms, to remind me how ill I'd been. This was especially useful in case I happened to be in a temporary good patch, and thought life was wonderful because my symptoms had eased for a few days. It meant I could get some perspective about how ill I was over-all. I don't use the chart these days because I think I've now learnt what most affects my ME, and so my symptoms are far more stable than they used to be. I've learnt what sort things help me, or make me worse and, because there aren't so many unknown variables any more, I can more easily tell if one particular event in my life is having an adverse affect on my symptoms. I'm still ill, and I still have fluctuations, but it's a lot more predictable and stable for me. My illness might have become more stable over time anyway, but the chart definitely helped me in many ways.