One resource that is helping thousands chronicle important life experiences is CaringBridge.org.
Through the non-profit organization’s website you can chronicle the health journey of a family member or friend who has been diagnosed with a critical or terminal illness. You may ask, “Why would I want to record the details of such a difficult situation?” This is certainly a valid question; however, there are many good reasons an online journal is beneficial. Here are just a few to keep in mind:
- A CaringBridge journal is one way to keep friends and family updated on the condition of a loved one without having to repeat it multiple times to multiple people. By simply adding a daily journal entry or journaling whenever there is new information to share, others can then log on and view your updates. This helps keep everyone in the loop regardless of how close or far away they may live.
- Writing things down can help you keep track of important information that might otherwise be missed. For example, one family shared in a journal entry that “Dad started a new medication today.” In subsequent entries they noted behavioral changes and body twitches. When they read back through the journal they realized these changes were caused by an adverse reaction to the new medication their dad was taking. They were able to talk with his doctor about what they had observed, and had his medication changed. Not surprisingly, their dad’s side effects subsided.
- The health diary can be used as a source of encouragement to the person fighting a health issue. Their struggles, as well as their progress will be recorded, and through this, they are able to find ways to continue working towards their own health and wellness.
- The website also provides a great tool to help coordinate simple ways to lend a hand. Want to drop a dinner off to someone who is bedridden or homebound after a medical procedure? Maybe offer to tidy up the house? Or even to read a book to them? The CaringBridge website provides ways to schedule these types of assistance. You can schedule it on an open calendar that other friends and family members can view. This way, you can avoid duplicating efforts on the same day.
- In the case of someone with a terminal illness, a journal can capture the person’s last days in a unique and special way. Of course there can be a certain sadness associated with this type of diary, but most times it becomes a way to record treasured family stories, history, lineage, or sometimes just a precious moment shared with that loved one.
If you (or a loved one) are going through a difficult health journey, for the record, the CaringBridge website is an excellent way to chronicle your experience. It can act as a source of inspiration and/or hope to you and your readers. Journals can be printed in book form to become a cherished treasure. So remember, in all our writing, it’s important to capture the things that truly matter to us.
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