Documenting Injuries & Pain when you can't see your health care provider
Documenting Injuries & Pain When You Can't See Your Health Care Provider
With many of us practicing social distancing to help flatten the curve, we have come to learn that many people have been unable to continue their treatment for their accident-related injuries. Many people with accident-related injuries have regularly scheduled doctor, chiropractic, physical therapy appointments. If they miss some appointments, their healthcare providers would normally give them instructions on exercises they can do at home that may help relieve some of their sometimes. Unable to obtain medical treatment, accident victims may be concerned whether their injuries would linger longer or worsen.
Missing health care appointments, however, cause another concern for their personal injury cases. Auto insurance companies tend to argue that a person who is truly hurt, that person seeks medical treatment and that a person who does not seek medical treatment is a person who is not truly hurt. The foregoing is a faulty syllogism, as there are many reasons why an injured person may not seek medical treatment or may have gaps in their treatment. Nevertheless, accident victims must be prepared to respond to such arguments.
One way to counter such arguments and demonstrate injury is to maintain a pain journal. Some physicians will instruct a patient to maintain a written log (journal) of pain-related information and to bring this with them to their office visits. The physician reads the patient’s journal to identify trends in the pain and responses to treatment. The following types of information should be recorded on a daily basis:
- Your symptoms that day
- Time when your pain started or got worse.
- What you were doing at the time the pain started or got worse.
- The intensity of your pain from 0 to 10, 0 being no pain to 10 being the worst pain you’ve ever felt
- How long did the pain last
- What you were doing at the time the pain stopped or got better.
- Did you take any medication (over the counter or prescription) and what was the dosage
- Time you took the medication
- Whether the medication worked and how long did it take to work
- Any other thing you did to reduce the pain, such as ice/heating pad, TENS, bed rest, wearing a brace, etc.
- If you had to skip out on any activities, whether work or social engagements, because of the pain or other symptoms