Friday, June 1, 2012

GUEST ARTICLE

This is an article sent to me by Jenna Walters.  She asked me to post it as a guest blog here, which I am happy to do.  Comments are welcome as usual :)

Coping With A Chronic Illness

Living with Lyme Disease or another chronic sickness can be a frustrating experience. Between weakness, extreme fatigue, skin rashes, and other debilitating symptoms, it is understandable how one can become depressed and despondent.  However, taking a few steps can improve your outlook.

First, a strong offense is a great defense. Make regular appointments with your physician and specialists to discuss any and all symptoms. If necessary, seek out alternate opinions. Follow the treatment plan you have created with your doctors, including medications, diet, and exercise. Additionally, keep abreast of current research. New medications and other
therapies are constantly being discovered. Don’t be discouraged if it takes some time to find a treatment plan that works for you. However, don’t believe everything you read and hear. Sometimes, too little information causes more damage than complete ignorance.

A verse in the Bible says hope deferred makes the heart sick. Combating despondency and discouragement will strengthen your mentality. Join a support group to find other people who are suffering in a similar manner. Reading inspirational stories of other who have overcome great obstacles can be healing and encouraging. If necessary, seek out psychiatric assistance or speak with a counselor. Often, realizing that others are going through a similar journey will bring great
comfort.

Accepting your limitations is difficult, but the sooner you do so, the quicker you can adapt to your altered lifestyle. There will be days when your health diminishes. Depression may set in. Sometimes extreme fatigue may inhibit your social life. Some people will be insensitive to your struggles. Have a plan in place for those “bad days”. This may include seeking out a friend you can vent to, viewing a funny TV. show, or listening to an audio-book. Finding ways to alleviate responsibilities workload can also be helpful. Ordering take-out, hiring someone to clean your house, and asking others for assistance are other ways to lighten your workload.

Although Lyme Disease and similar illnesses, such as Pleural Mesothelioma, can be difficult to live with, having an action plan is crucial. Chronic disease does not have to take over one’s life. You are a survivor, not a victim. Instead of succumbing to the symptoms, seek out encouragement and resources from outlets such as doctors, friends, and support groups. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Give yourself grace to accept that some days are worse than others, but you can and will lead a fulfilling life.

2 comments:

  1. Thank you, Jenna, for your words of wisdom. You have learned how to cope, become a survivor and are passing it forward.

    Thanks for the encouragement,
    Karen

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  2. http://lymediseasehell.weebly.com/

    Lyme Disease Controversy Hurts Patients

    ReplyDelete