Mandy - 1997. Cape Town - South Africa Coping with chronic illness Chronic illness…
4 Strategies For Dealing With Chronic Illness
Taking Control Of Your Situation
Having chronic illness doesn’t mean you must be controlled by your condition. There’s always a positive spin you can put on even the most difficult situation. You can also go the negative route.
You could either say: “Wow, I have this condition, now there’s these things I can never do.” Or, you could say: “Well now I’ve got some more chores in the day, but I won’t let them hold me back!” Languishing in that which impedes you won’t solve the problem or help you work around it. But if you can push yourself, you may be surprised at what you’re able to do.
Stephen Hawking could only move a few fingers. Magic Johnson must live with HIV. Now granted, these people have greater resources than most; but they still didn’t let their situation dominate them. Likewise, you can rise above. Following are a few strategies to help you do that.
1. Know What You Really Need
What limits you? How long can you operate without your medication, or some technology that helps you manage internal organs? If you know these numbers, you can plan around them. You can store enough food or medicine, set digital alarms, and keep yourself healthy as a matter of course. Eventually, these things become normalized, and just part of your routine.
If you’ve got kidney issues, you can use a GFR calculator to help determine what sort of boundaries you’re dealing with on a normal day. Finding means of monitoring aspects of your body which are affected by your illness can be key.
For diabetes, you’ll want to check blood sugar and give yourself insulin when it’s necessary. For Crohn’s, you may want metabolic assisting supplements available for certain situations. Know your condition, and what you really need.
2. Plan For Emergencies
There’s no way to predict the future, and disasters you have no control over will happen. To keep from being “knocked off the rails”, as it were, you want to have emergency plans in place. If you suffer from certain allergic reaction, having an epinephrine pin on your person can be a good contingency plan. If you’re traveling, have two, and a third in your luggage.
3. Seek New Therapies And Proactively Manage Your Illness
Technology doubles in computational capacity at eighteen month intervals, as Moore’s Law demonstrates. Technology is intimately related to medicine today—they’re even developing brain chips, things have become so integral.
Keep your finger on the pulse of new breakthroughs which could help your situation. Also, ensure you exercise and eat right; supplementing where necessary to maintain your body at peak health.
4. Network With Others Who Contend With The Same Issue
No man is an island, and there are very few medical conditions that are entirely unique. If you have something like that, there will certainly be medical professionals to help give you some sense of camaraderie and community concerning your condition. For most, there will be support groups out there, and you can meet others contending with the problems you have.
Support groups can help give you confidence and courage, strengthening your will in dealing with that which would otherwise truly restrain you. Additionally, others dealing with the same condition of you may know tricks to handle it on a daily basis that you wouldn’t even imagine otherwise.
Be An Overcomer
It’s easier to say these things than to do them. However, eating an elephant starts with one bite. Take things as they come, one at a time, and resolve to persevere. Network, know your limitations, manage your condition, seek new breakthroughs and plan for emergencies. Such steps can help you not only manage your chronic illness, but perhaps even overcome it.