All You Need To Know About Living With A Chronic Health Problem
When you are told that you have a lifelong disease, a disability that is unlikely to improve, or something similar, it is always a shock. Nobody wants to feel limited by their body in any way, but this is what can happen when you receive this kind of news. If you have recently been informed of a chronic health condition which you have, then you will almost certainly be keen to know as much as possible about living in such a state. The good news is that the more you know, the more you are able to cope with the situation. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of significant things which you should know if you have a chronic health problem.
‘Chronic’ Doesn’t Mean Your Life Is Over
Anyone who works in the medical profession will be able to tell you that having a chronic illness does not necessarily mean that your life might as well be over. Even if you feel this way in the early days, the truth is that there is always some kind of hope to be had. Even those suffering from the more severe conditions such as motor neurone disease are able to live lives which are rich in complexity, even if they can’t move around. So no matter your diagnosis, be sure to do your best to hold on to what you have. It is this approach which will help you to make the most of it, and not let it get the better of you. It is not easy to do, of course, but it is vital if you want to live your life to the fullest.
Expect To Feel Many Emotions
Something you can almost guarantee is that you are likely to feel a vast range of emotions when you have a chronic health problem. This will be especially true in the early days when you are just getting used to the fact that you have this condition. It is no great surprise that this is the kind of thing that can take a significant toll on your emotional life. So the best thing to do is to be as prepared as possible for these psychological changes so that you won’t allow them to get the better of you too easily. The main thing to bear in mind here is that it is much healthier to genuinely feel your emotions than to suppress them. So make sure that you are feeling them entirely, no matter how difficult that might be to do. You will be glad you have done this, as it is better than hiding away for years, only to have it all come rushing out at a later date. Try to have the bravery to feel what you are really feeling. It will help you hugely to approach it this way instead.
Pain Can Be Handled
Many (but not all) chronic conditions involve a great deal of pain. If yours is such a condition, then you might be worried as to how you are possibly going to cope with it. But the good news is that all pain can be managed with the right combination of psychological techniques and pain medication. You won’t be left to experience significant pain for no reason, especially if you have constant medical attention by your side. While it is not much fun having to take lots of medication, it is at least good to know that there is a solution to your pain problems. As long as you remember to take your medicine, you should find that it is surprisingly easy to deal with the pain involved, even if at times it can seem to get the better of you. Remember too that you always have the option of asking for different medication – or more of it – if you feel it is necessary. You should never be afraid to ask.
The Doctors & Nurses Are On Your Side
Sometimes it can seem that some of the things medical professionals do are not in your best interests. But it is a funny thing about the world of medicine that these are often the occasions when they are actually doing precisely right by you. While it might seem that their actions are not conducive to you being happy and healthy, almost certainly they are doing precisely what they should. This is worth bearing in mind when you are receiving lots of medical treatment, much of which you might not really understand very well. Of course, this is not to say that medical professionals never make mistakes. If you feel that this has happened, then a medical malpractice lawyer can help to make sense of it, or you might just want to talk to your close friends and family about what you think is going on. You have the right to be confident in the treatment you are receiving, so it is worth being careful at the same time as trying to trust your doctors and nurses.
Your Image Of Yourself Might Change
This next one is something that can be extremely concerning for many people. It is likely that you have a lifelong image of yourself as an individual which has more or less remained unchanged. But if you develop a chronic illness or disability, you might find that your understanding of who you are undergoes some radical shifts. These can be for better or for worse, or more likely a strange combination of the two – but either way, it makes sense to prepare yourself for some drastic changes in self-awareness. If you once ran around and were as healthy as anything, you might find yourself suddenly having a worse opinion of yourself. While these changing feelings are natural, it is essential to see them for what they really are – a natural and regular part of the fact that you are suffering from a severe health problem. It might take time to get used to the new you, so allow it to happen at its own pace and try not to force it.
It Helps To Be Gentle
It might seem strange, but a surprising amount of people find themselves being hard on themselves when they discover they are chronically unwell. This is a typical psychological reaction, but you should try to keep such thoughts to a minimum. The truth is that you need to learn to be as gentle with yourself as you possibly can, as hard as you might find that to do. The softer with yourself you are, the more likely it is that you will be able to see the bright side as well as possible, and that will mean that you can live with the situation much more efficiently and effectively. It’s no surprise that it is difficult, but you at least deserve not to batter your own ego in the process of trying to live as well as you can. Be gentle on yourself, and live to the fullest you possibly can.
There Will Be Plenty Of Help
No matter what your situation might be socially, you can be sure that there will be plenty of help at hand throughout your chronic illness or disability. No matter what it is that your health problem is, you can be sure to rely on those around you for assistance much of the time. If you are lucky enough to have a good amount of friends and family around you, then you will find the whole situation much more bearable and easier to deal with. It can even help with the medical condition itself, and some aspects of the pain involved. Even if you don’t have that many friends and family, you can expect help from carers and people within your community who will be there for you at all times. It is worth remembering this, especially if you start to feel overwhelmed so that you can feel safer and more looked after.
It Helps To Know About Your Condition
Whatever your condition actually is, you can be sure that it is hugely helpful to know as much as possible about it. The more that you understand your own state, the more likely it is that you can make the most of the situation. Learning as much as possible about your condition will also mean that you understand its process within the body – and having this medical knowledge can help to put things in perspective and treat it as the impersonal thing that it truly is. The more you know, the more you can help yourself to feel better and live the best possible life you can. If you are struggling, take some time to learn about your condition, and you will find it much easier to come to terms with, even if some of it still shocks you at first.
All of the above can be seen as ways to improve your life as you live with a chronic health condition. Do your best to remain positive and make use of what you have, and you will find that you have a much easier time on the whole.