When you first become chronically ill you go through a mourning processes of what you can no longer do which is very normally. This can take months and for some even a couple years. We all deal with things differently and there is no set amount of time this should take. But when you get “Stuck” in this mourning processes for an extended period of time it can become very debilitating emotionally and physically (Because the mind and body are connected). In fact, it can become more debilitating than your chronic illness itself.
Along with chronic illness comes fatigue and I am not talking “I need a nap” fatigue but debilitating fatigue at times. When I was at my sickest there were days I had to make a decision to ether shower or fix something to eat because doing one thing just exhausted me beyond belief. Although my fatigue is no longer so debilitating I still have to balance everything I do because if I over to it I PAY BIG TIME! Cleaning has always been physically exhausting for me and there are somethings I still can not do without paying like mopping or vacuuming.
In todays Daily Dose of Health And Wellness we talk about weather changes and how they can affect chronic pain. We also talk about if certain climates are better or worse with chronic pain.
I think one of the most difficult issues to deal with when you are diagnosed with a chronic illness is acceptance. For the first couple years I was angry, in denial, and did everything I wanted to and paid big time every time I did. I was very young (18) when I was diagnosed and I just wanted to do everything my friends were doing. It was almost like I had to prove to them and myself I was not going to change and would even push harder than a healthy person. I was working fulltime, taking care of my boyfriends 2 kids 3 to 4 days out of the week, keeping up a 3 bedroom house, and keeping a very hectic social calendar. This is when I started taking a lot of medication to cover up the symptoms of the poor choices I made that affected my health and began to decline rapidly.
There is almost a mourning process when you get diagnosed. On one hand I was happy they figured out what was wrong but on the other, all I wanted was to be normal again. I held on to a lot of anger because I wanted my life back the way it was. I would try to stay busy every second of the day because once I stopped the pain would be unrelenting and I would think about it more if I did not keep busy. I felt that accepting I was ill was giving in or giving up. What I later realized is that acceptance was key to begin my journey to wellness.
There are many myths surrounding the difference between Addiction and Dependency not only with those that do not suffer chronic pain and chronic illness but those that do suffer from these conditions. In this podcast we touch base on this very emotional heated subject among the chronic illness/pain community and even doctors.
We live in a society that tells us that we need to please others. We start out by pleasing our parents when we are young and it goes into pleasing our bosses, spouses, and children ect ect. as we grow older. Taking care of yourself is not a selfish thing to do like you might have been told in fact, it is natural to put yourself first and take care of yourself spiritually, emotionally, and physically before you care for others. It is the HEALTHY thing to do for yourself!
Holiday stress can make this Jolly time of year overwhelming!
It is that time of year again! The time of year we are supposed to cook, clean, spend money, and expected to remember this is the happiest time of the year and put a smile on our face! (Do you sense the sarcasm in my voice?) The Holidays are a challenge for a healthy person, but for someone with a Chronic Medical Condition the challenge can be overwhelming. There are ways to insure YOU enjoy the Holiday because YOU deserve that and sometimes that means YOU saying “NO!” All you type A personalities that want to please everyone I know it is hard to say “NO” But this year YOU are going to be in control and YOU are going to enjoy the Holidays just like everyone else.
Having a chronic illness is always a balancing act and a constant ever changing adjustment with your life depending on how well your symptoms are managed. Feeling well and not feeling well are never the same day to day and we have to adapt and adjust to continue on with our daily lives as normal as possible. One day we might feel great and the next day we might be in bed all day. The fickle symptoms and fatigue can be hard to predict and at the least very frustrating if not down right unfair it seems at times.
A new symptom pops up and you are now having to make a decision. Is this a new symptom that needs to be addressed with my physician? Is it one of the million side effects of medication? Is it just the natural progression of my illness? Should I bring up this new symptom to my Doctor or if I bring every little thing up will he/she think I am a hypercondriac?
Dealing with the daily challenges of chronic illness and pain in itself is a daily struggle both mentally and physically. When you have a chronic illness everything you do sometimes comes with a price tag on it. Does any of these things ring true for you?
“If I clean the floors I will not have the energy to cook a healthy meal for my family.”
“If I go to the beach with my friends I will not be able to function for work/school tomorrow.”
“If I take a shower I won’t have energy to do my makeup or my hair to look nice tonight.”