Living through a long term chronic illness, takes load of patience, compassion and loving of self. Everything that we knew about our lives changes, and we have to find our happy balance in our new normal.
It is a process that can be quite taxing. It is truly about how we choose to get through this. For me it took me a bit to come to a place where I could see the beauty in the gift of the illness. And then learn how best to function within the new perimeters.
But here is what I know, when we decide to not be defined by what is happening to our physical body, it allows us another sense of freedom.
This is an affiliate contributed post. That means that ariel did not write the entire post. I hope you find this helpful.
Most everyday illnesses won’t bother you for more than a week or two. When you pick up a cough or cold, or even something a little more serious, you know you’re likely to feel better soon.
However, other illnesses don’t go away so quickly. Some could take months or longer to treat, while there are also chronic conditions that could be with you for life.
The effects of your illness could vary, from mild inconveniences to a huge impact on your life, but any long-term illness or chronic condition can be tough to deal with.
Knowing how to cope and make things easier for yourself, even if only a little bit, can make a big difference.
Get Support from Friends and Family
Human connections are some of the most important things you can have when you’re dealing with an illness. Sometimes you want to be on your own, but being alone all the time isn’t ideal.
Turning to your friends and family for support should help you get through some tough times. Whether you need someone to hold your hand when you see a doctor or listen to you complain when you’re having a bad day, it’s always better to have someone who you can turn to when you need it.
It can sometimes be hard to share with friends and family members because you don’t want to burden them. But they would rather help you out and be there for you when you need them.
Connect with Others Going Through the Same Thing
Even though your friends and family can help you out, they can’t always understand everything. Being able to connect with others who share or have shared the same experiences as you can give you another way to get support.
People who have the same illness or condition of you or are going through something similar can understand what you’re thinking and feeling better. Not everyone will experience things in the same way, but you’re likely to find someone with similar opinions and emotions as you.
Some people join support groups or connect with people online.
Adjusting Your Treatment and Care
When you’re dealing with a long-term or chronic illness, things can change a lot for you over time. You might get better or worse, or your symptoms might change.
This means you might need to adjust the care and treatment you receive to meet your needs and improve your quality of life. Sometimes this could mean making big decisions, some of which might be much more difficult than others.
You might need to consider whether a new medication is right for you, or even if it’s time to look into cancer hospice care. Long illnesses can, unfortunately, be terminal, but there are still treatment and care options to consider in those situations.
Whenever you need to make any changes to the treatment you need, discussing it with your medical team, as well as perhaps those close to you, can help you make the best decisions.
Being Educated and Informed
It’s always a good idea to be sure that you’re educated and informed about your illness or condition. In fact, many people can end up being more knowledgeable than some of the medical professionals they see.
This can be helpful for everyone because not even doctors and nurses are able to learn all there is to know about every illness. There are lots of places to find out more, starting with the specialist medical professionals who treat you.
You might also look for patient advocacy groups, and you can find plenty of information in books and online. However, make sure you check your sources so that you know you can trust what you read or hear.
Managing Your Mental Health
Some chronic conditions are related to mental health, but even those that aren’t can have an effect on your mental and emotional state. Dealing with a long-term condition is tough, and it can sometimes lead to depression or other issues.
It’s important to pay attention to how you’re feeling and spend time looking after your mental health, as well as your physical health. Talking to people, whether professionals or not, is one thing you might do, but there are other things that can help.
You can use all kinds of methods to manage your mental health, from meditating to making sure you get enough sleep.
Making Good Lifestyle Choices
When you have a long-term illness, you often have to spend a lot of time thinking about your health and how to live a healthier lifestyle. Your lifestyle choices can make a big difference to how you feel inside and out.
They can even affect how well a treatment might work or help to reduce the severity of your symptoms. Two of the most important things are getting enough sleep and eating a healthy diet.
Being active is good too, and it doesn’t have to mean going to the gym three times a week. Whatever you’re capable of, whether it’s a short walk or some stretches, can help you to stay physically and mentally healthy.
Long-term illnesses often come with frequent pain at varying levels. Whether it’s daily and never completely goes away or it’s something you experience in flare-ups, managing your pain can be difficult.
Pain relieving medication is one option, which many people need to rely on, but there are also some other things that can help. Many people don’t want to have to take painkillers all the time or want to save them for when their pain is at its worst.
Methods such as physical therapy, relaxation techniques and massage can all be used to make pain management easier.
Managing an illness or health condition that isn’t going to go away any time soon isn’t easy. It might mean adjusting to a completely new life because you’re no longer able to do the things you used to or you need to make adjustments to be able to do them.
Getting the right support and knowledge should help you to cope better.
When we are diagnosed with a chronic illness. It can be devastating. And after we adjust to hearing the information, it is on us to decide how we can best live through this. And we go through stages of grief, anger and coming to terms.
The way we find our own compassionate grace, is then how we know we are going to find a way to thrive and not be defined, impaled or seen only as our dis-ease.
So work through this process with friends, and support and getting enough sleep and getting all the help you need. After all asking another for help is also a gift of allowing someone else to be there for you in service. And that is amazing to share that process.
If you are going through this, please do write back and talk to me about it. I have some experience, having lived this. And I welcome the chance to talk about how we grow from this. It might feel hard right now, but it doesn’t have to stay that way.
I wish you great ease, comfort and a life of finding that compassionate grace.
In peace and gratitude,
Founder, CEO, success-full-living.com
living one heart-centric moment at a time!