Living with a condition is undeniably stressful and depressing. You soon find out just how much courage you really do have when you are left to deal with a lengthy illness.
There are ‘chronic’ illnesses (continuing for a long time), and there are ‘acute’ conditions (such as the common cold or flu). Some chronic illnesses can be fatal, such as cancer. Some chronic illnesses can be relieved and controlled with medical treatment (such as arthritis and asthma), although the condition itself will remain.
Such an illness can leave you drained emotionally, socially, physically and sometimes financially. For the first while, until you adapt to your new condition, you will worry, feel vulnerable, confused, and wonder just what your future holds for you. These feelings are very normal and are just the beginnings of dealing with, and understanding, your condition. Everyone is different, and each of you coming to terms with your illness will accept it at your own own pace. It is very common to feel stressed out trying to live your life, together with your condition, at the same time.
And sometimes people with a chronic illness will keep their condition to themselves, but they soon see this doesn’t work. Medications can make you look puffy or make you gain or lose weight, which will undoubtedly be noticed. You will lose time at work when/if you are home sick, more frequently than is normal for you. You won’t be too surprised to find that people will, without a doubt, acknowledge and accept your condition with the greatest concern. They are your friends and co-workers, and will want to help however they can, even if it’s just listening.
After you have adapted to your condition, the next thing to do is learn all you can about it. The more you know about and understand your condition, the better you will feel. It will relieve the anxiety you are feeling, and will reduce your fear. It also helps to have someone to talk to (your spouse, a family member, or a close trusted friend), or perhaps to join a support group of people with your condition.
And don’t be afraid to ask the Doctor/Nurse questions; if you don’t understand the Doctor’s response, ask again, or ask him to clarify it.
Some questions for the Doctor might be:
What is the treatment for my condition?
How many treatments will i have?
Will they be painful?
Are there side effects?
What if i forget my medicine?
What if the treatments don’t work?
Will i be cured?
Learn all you can about your illness, the medications, and treatments for it, and you’ll soon thereafter be able to live a healthy, happy lifestyle.
It’s difficult at the best of times, to say the least, living with a chronic condition.
Your body’s not functioning orlooking the way it should, and to you it’s very annoying and depressing. But who of us, healthy or otherwise, is happy with their body? Not very many for sure. If you look after your body, appreciate what it’s capable of doing, and accept what it can’t, you body image will improve, and that applies to everyone, with or without a chronic illness.
And above all, don’t let it be the main focus of your life. You had a life before it came along, and you still do. It has only recently become a part of your life. Maintain your lifestyle with friends, family, favourite activities, and whatever else you do on a daily basis. Be firm with yourself; it’s your life.
Unexpected challenges (illnesses) leave one to find an inner strength they may have never thought they had. They grow to appreciate their strengths, and adapt to their weaknesses.
I hope you are going to be one of these people.