Being diagnosed with a chronic illness can be an overwhelming change in your life. Whether you are dealing with cancer, multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, an STD, or any other illness, there are a lot of changes that you are going to have to make, and most of them are not fun. In fact, they can be downright painful. But this doesn’t have to completely derail your life. Here are a few things that you can try to manage your illness and keep your life under control.
Don’t Put Off Seeing a Doctor
If you were diagnosed a while ago, you may become so used to your situation that you don’t see your doctor as regularly as you should. This is a huge mistake. If you have any new symptoms, they need to be discussed with your physician. Even if they are part of your illness, your doctor should evaluate them. Even regular check-ups can help your doctor find little problems before they become big. You have probably seen more doctor’s offices and hospital rooms than you ever wanted to, but you need to keep going.
Understand Your Condition
One of the best things that you can do for yourself is to get educated on your condition. While some chronic illnesses are widely discussed, and treatments are fairly well-known, others are not. Some of these conditions, like STDs, are only talked about in health classes, which may contain factual information, but they also don’t exactly talk about what to do if you suffer from one of these. It’s important to know the symptoms and treatments of your condition so that you can properly manage your life.
When you take care of your body and feed it the nutrients that it needs, you will feel better, even if you are sick. This means that it is doubly important for you to eat right to manage your illness. You are already going to spend large periods of time not feeling great, don’t compound that by feeding yourself junk. Make sure you have a balanced diet that includes lots of nutrients. If your illness requires you to stick to a diet, don’t sabotage yourself. Just stick to it.
It may seem counter-intuitive to continue any exercise program, especially if you are spending a lot of time in pain or sick. But, as mentioned above, you need to take care of your body. If you aren’t strong, you won’t be able to function well. The exercise doesn’t need to be anything hardcore, just make sure you are getting a little activity in each day. Walking around the block a few times can do wonders for you. If you are worried about over-exerting yourself, talk to your doctor about setting up an exercise plan.
Get A Circle of Support
Handling medical issues is better when you have a strong support system. Join a support group, lean on family and friends, and make sure to have your medical team involved in all of your care. They can help you deal with challenges and setbacks, encourage you to exercise, and act as advocates for your care.
Dealing with chronic pain issues is no fun. However, learning coping skills can make matters easier. Soon it will just become part of who you are and these strategies will become second nature.