• Lisa Tuccio

Living with a Chronic Disease



Chronic disease is a condition you can control with treatment. Often, they don’t have a cure, but you can live with them and manage their symptoms. Asthma, Arthritis, Diabetes, Depression are some common examples.


Although these conditions are deemed as manageable, they can be a constant reminder of all the limitations put on your life, causing unnecessary stress you don’t need. Take the steps of maintaining a healthy balance between your condition, and the stress that stands with it.


Know Your Condition


The first initial thought when being diagnosed with a chronic disease, may be anger, sadness or fear. This may pertain to all the stereotypes associated with the condition you were diagnosed with. But when living with a long-term condition, it will be helpful and necessary to learn everything you can about your symptoms and treatment options. With the help of your doctor, by asking all the questions that may be on your mind, but don’t stop there, do your own outside research, by using library resources or online journals.

Observe your body too. Pay close attention to what seems to ease your symptoms or what makes them worse. Keep a journal or calendar to record trends or any other insights that may help manage your symptoms. Share your notes with your doctor so they can clearly understand hot your condition affects you.


Adaptability


Your attitude and approach can make a huge difference to the balance of your life. It's important to develop a healthy acceptance of the lifestyle change your condition will require. Developing confidence in your ability to live within these limitations will also boost your approach.


Develop new skills and hobbies and take a new problem-solving approach to figure out what works best for you. This will make you able to manage challenges as they rise.


Managing Your Relationships


Living with a chronic disease can cause for major life changes. Managing your relationships will be an important thing to do. As you may find that you have limited energy and time available for socializing. But it is very important to communicate with your friends and family members what you are facing, for they may not understand.


Focus on the relationships that are most important to you and let go of the ones that have done nothing but cause more stress in your life.


The Outcome


Living with a chronic illness can in fact be frustrating but taking the steps you need to take to manage your condition and live a better-balanced life are necessary. Learn as much as you can about your symptoms and treatment to help limit the fear of the unknown of your illness. Be proactive in speaking to your doctor about any sudden changes, following your treatment plan and leading a healthy lifestyle. Adjusting your expectations and practicing self-care, you can put yourself first by making your health and wellbeing a priority.

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