Learning to live with chronic pain and fatigue can be a lonely and scary journey. Having someone standing along side you who understands what you are going through can make a world of difference. That is why I created this blog, website and Google+ community. It is my sincere desire to help show you that you never feel alone in your journey.
Saturday, October 19, 2013
You Owe It to Yourself
Learning to live well with chronic illness is not easy. Each time I think I have it figured out, the landscape changes and I'm scrambling yet again. Chronic illness can hit us hard emotionally. We can't do the things we used to do, we feel like a burden, people keep trying to "fix" us, we try to fix ourselves. The very conundrum of chronic illness means learning to accept that it's not going away.
BUT, that doesn't mean that we can't live full lives!
It just means that we need to get creative, and respect ourselves enough to honor our body's needs at any given time. Just because our bodies are broken, doesn't mean we don't have value, and that we can't contribute.
Connecting with Others
To think that we can navigate this strange new landscape by ourselves is unwise. It's far too easy to get lost in the opinions of others. People can't possibly understand how we are feeling, unless they are living with the same illness. Even then, we all respond a bit differently because we are all different people! It's also far too easy to get lost in our pain and misery. Don't do this alone; you do have options.
Local Support Groups and Agencies
you live in a major city centre, chances are you can find some terrific
programs right in your own community. Check out community centres,
government agencies, support groups, church groups - the list can go on
and on. While some of these groups will have
programs at a cost, many are free. If you are mobile, this is a great
route to go.
There are people out there who use social media solely to steal your information and even your identity. There are also many dedicated people and organizations that truly want to help others. Using social media wisely means not baring your soul and private details to the world. Can you imagine sharing intimate details of your life with someone you just met at the grocery store? Certainly not! The same care needs to be taken online.
Search out health information from health care providers or non-profit organizations related to your illness. There are far too many people who want to prey on the chronically ill for their own personal gain. Be wary of people who promise they can cure you. What worked for them, may not work for you. Not only that, their products may not be safe!
Lesson learned: Don't sign up for anything or start any treatment plan without researching it thoroughly.
I can't stress enough just how important it is to do your homework before taking any supplement or "natural" product. I started taking a supplement a few weeks ago through a company I discovered online. I researched the company and felt confident that they were reputable. I then discovered this supplement was putting me at risk for Serotonin Syndrome - a potentially life-threatening condition! This wasn't the company's fault; I didn't research the product thoroughly enough to see how it would interact with my medications.
Lesson learned: Bring a print-out of the product label to your doctor and review it with him/her before buying.
Keep personal information personal
Lesson learned: Research support groups carefully. Don't share details that could compromise your identity. Be careful, be safe!