Recording physical and emotional health
As part of TICAH’s community outreach program, we have developed a health journal that can be used by individuals to track their own health status, the care they receive and any reactions they have to medicines and foods over time.
The Health Journal has pages that allow users to draw small body maps to track their injuries and illnesses, and also a medicine shield exercise that asks users to record their health on physical, household, emotional, and spiritual dimensions.
There are questions in a page called the “Body Mind Spirit Map” that ask questions about who we love and who supports us, what we do to find happiness in our days, what we believe about ourselves and our health, and what we envision for our futures. There is a section at the back of the journal that can be used by health care providers to record clinic visits and prescriptions given.
Some of the community support group members have used their Health Journals with great enthusiasm, saying that it helps them to become aware of the way their bodies change over time and what makes them feel better. Others are not as keen to write these personal things in a booklet that others may find. In some communities, TICAH has been asked to store the Health Journals in a safe place where they can remain confidential.
We hope to build further on this good work. For some of us, keeping a written record helps us to pay more attention to our health. It can also improve the kinds of attention we get from health care providers.