Here is what I would share with someone going through an illness.
1. Give yourself permission to be ill
2. You don’t owe explanations to anyone!
3. Trust your gut
4. Find resources for extra strength.
5. Don’t borrow trouble
6. Take charge of your health
1) Being ill is not a weakness, it just is. When I had a lot of stuff I’d planned to do but zero energy, it was very hard to give myself permission to take it slow, take a nap, ask for help or heaven forbid, just not do it. To my surprise, the earth didn’t stop on it’s axis if the dishes didn’t get done and I discovered letting someone help you is a weird gift to them. I know this for a fact because I reached out to someone in the healing process and it made me happy to help them.
2) Let your yes be yes and your no be no. If you don’t feel well enough to participate in something you don’t have to paint a detailed picture of why. This one was HARD for me to learn but I keep practicing and it gets easier without guilt. If you had already made plans, it’s still okay to back out but perhaps say why. But general obligations? No. The earth, the groups you’re involved with or your friendships won’t stop if you have to take care of your needs first.
3) If your gut is telling you that the doctor you are meeting with doesn’t really have your best interests at heart, isn’t listening to you or is making overwhelming care plans you don’t feel ready for, it’s no crime to act on that. Give someone else your business (that’s what it is you know – cash money business); or keep asking the same question over and over until they actually answer you; or put on the brakes, and unless your turning blue or vital parts are falling off only accept each step as you feel comfortable.
4) After my husband’s stroke; even though I felt just fine, I decided I should probably get checked out. Just days after a series of tests I was hit with nothing but bad news; high blood pressure, heart disease, emphysema, and nodules on my thyroid and adrenals. As hard as I tried not to, I couldn’t completely overcome feeling old, tired and useless. What I did different (instead of isolating and eating candy) is call many friends and tell them the truth about how I was feeling – not the medical stuff that exhausts everyone – just the fears. I wrote about it and did some stepwork on some of professionals I didn’t trust. I prayed in the right way, meaning I prayed to accept God’s will whatever that turned out to be – no plea’s, no demands, and to guide me and my doctors into right choices. It was freeing.
5) By borrow trouble I mean obsess over what will happen if you don’t get better, what you will look like, how long this is going the last, when you’re going to die. One way that helped me conquer this is to examine how I felt after each doctor appointment. Kind of in a clinical way. Did he listen, did it hurt, did it scare me? Then I talked to my coach about that specific appointment. To try to see things as they really are, not as they “might” be. By breaking it down to appointment by appointment (kind of like one-day-at-a-time), I felt less overwhelmed. It helped me not be a drama queen.
6) I am very proactive with what’s going on with me. I google what I have been diagnosed with. I check and see what treatments have been effective or dangerous for other people with my condition. I realize that I am only one of hundreds of patients my doctor sees. Things can be missed or overlooked. They are humans. So I check out the side effects, warnings and actual life-example reviews before I take any drug. If it appears the cure is worse than my symptoms I make my doctor talk to me about it. As you can imagine, I’m not exactly popular – it appears they much prefer compliant sheep but if it goes south the party line is you’re responsible for your own decisions to take or not take what they recommend so do the research and stand up for yourself.
MADE WITH PURPOSE
Learn to listen to your body when it whispers so you wont have to hear it scream