One of the first things your neurologist wants to know is if you have been tracking your migraines, and if not to start. It gives valuable information to them, and most of the time insurance requires proof before approving certain treatments. Most doctors will give you a paper chart to mark down things daily (eg. if you had a migraine, pain scale, medications.) Personally, I hate using pen and paper for tracking for several reason. First, I don't always have it on me when I need it. Second, it doesn't give you the depth of information to track that other options have. Third, it is not convenient like a phone app.
My favorite way to track my migraines is using my phone. I have been tracking for many years and have tried out a few different options, even just typing in the notes section, but like writing on paper it didn't last long. Hands down, the BEST app I have used for tracking my migraines is Migraine Buddy. Nobody is paying me to write this, I just love the app and think it might help you if you need to track! And if you don't need to track, this is a good opportunity to learn how much people with migraines need to.
Migraine Buddy is very easy to use, and once you set it up with your preferences you can enter information quickly. It allows you to record the type of attack, potential triggers, auras, weather in your area when the attack began, pain intensity, your location (eg. bed, home, work), menstruation, symptoms, medication, reliefs, location of your pain, how it affected your life activities (eg. missed family time, slower at work) and start and end time for each migraine. If you don't deal with migraines or chronic illness, that list might seem overwhelming- and it is! There is a lot to think about during an attack, and you really don't want to when you are in pain and just want to hide in the dark. That's why sometimes tracking can feel like a burden, but this app can lift some of that weight.
Other great things about this app include a 48-hour pressure forecaster. This is so important for people that have weather triggered migraines, like me. The "Buddies" section on the app connects people in the migraine community. You can ask people around your area if they are experiencing things you are, and you just have another place to connect if you so choose. Migraine Buddy can even track your sleep. I don't use this feature since I rarely sleep through the night with two little ones! But this is a fantastic option, and knowing your sleep patterns can be a helpful piece of the puzzle.
My absolute favorite feature of Migraine Buddy are the Migraine Impact Reports. The app compiles ALL the information that you have been entering. Every migraine and each aspect of the attack is broken down and organized into a spreadsheet and informative report. You can email it directly to your doctor or print it for your own records. Having this comprehensive report is fantastic, and way better than the limited paper tracker usually given by the doctor. You can give a much deeper overview and history of your symptoms. Sometimes tracking can be hard, but it is worth it to be able to feel organized and a little more in control.
Have you used Migraine Buddy? What is your favorite way to track?