How Do You Conquer Chronic Illness?

Chronic illness does it’s best to interfere with daily life. Ignoring it seems to help suck away some of it’s power. However, there are too many days when if the illness isn’t bothering us physically, then it’s tasking our emotions, or even our wallets. That leaves very few worry, chronic-free days to enjoy.

Being surrounded by understanding people helps a lot. Another powerful way to deal with it is by standing tall no matter how little chronic illness can make you feel. Try not to whine – you deserve to vent, a lot! – just don’t give it the power to chronically bring you down.

That being said, we can use all the help we can to build an arsenal against the emotional anguish that comes with an ongoing illness. So please tell us, what is your weapon of choice when battling “the chronic”? -trvw

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No Whining!

nosignDo yourself a big favor and stop whining about your disease! Now that I have your attention please don’t think I’m a cold-blooded witch with no compassion, quite the opposite.  If you live with a chronic illness, sometimes the best things you can do to help yourself is to refuse to indulge in whining and complaining about how awful it is.

It is true that dealing with a disease like JRA or Type 1 diabetes is a pain literally and figuratively. It’s not fair and it has a laundry list of negative aspects. However, complaining yields counterproductive results. If you give attention to the bad thoughts and feelings you give power to them. You give them an opportunity to manifest into more negative thoughts which does nothing in your favor for feeling better.

Instead, put those lousy thoughts on the backburner to fry! Take a break from the bad feelings as a chance to tell yourself how strong you are for dealing with such junk – because you are! It takes a brave soul to handle the cards that you have been dealt, so pat yourself on the back and put on a smile for a change.

You deserve to sulk every now and then, but make it few and far between by concentrating on positive thoughts. You deserve to feel happy and feel good for being strong. It might not be easy to do in the beginning, but keep at it and it will get easier. You have much to gain by thinking positive. Positive thoughts manifest and your health will benefit too.

How do you cope when negative thinking creeps into your head? Let us know! If you need a jump start here are some tips from an article titled, “Positive Thinking Can Bring Good Health”. -pm

  • Look for a good role model. There is always someone who seems to be doing just what you want to be doing. Maybe they’ve scheduled exercise into their workday and switched from coffee to herbal tea. Learn from a successful friend, family member or colleague. Ask them how they keep healthy and follow in their footsteps.
  • Try some positive self-talk and avoid negative-talk. Take a minute to give yourself an ego boost. Repeat some motivational words out loud or to yourself. Negative talk, “I can’t do it,” “I’m fat,” is dangerous for your well-being and healthy goals. Try to avoid the negative self-talk before it harms you. Remind yourself that you deserve happiness and can make positive changes.
  • Get support. Tell your friends and family about your healthy habits. It helps to have an encouraging network.
  • Reward yourself. Give yourself a pat on the back for your healthy efforts. Take a nice bath, get a massage, and enjoy a new DVD or CD.
  • Have a plan. Making a plan to exercise or eat healthy lunches with a friend can mean the difference of sticking with your goals or falling off track. If you’ve planned for an activity, you’ll likely stick with it. You may even find that writing down your goals and steps to achieve them can help you stay on track. Take it day by day or week by week. The process of writing down your personal action plan is a good way to keep you honest and watch your progress or pitfalls.
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A Shot In the Dark

syringeDiabetics use a monitor to test their blood sugar levels. If it gets out of range then there can be trouble. It’s hard to know what to do if a diabetic needs your help. Insulin reactions can be scary but try to remain calm. Usually with t1d, when blood sugar gets low they need to eat or drink something that will raise their sugar levels fast. Orange juice or candies are quick options to offer. Sometimes if the person is unable to respond and they can’t eat or drink any sugar they need a shot of glucagon. This will get into their system quickly and save their life. It should be given carefully by an experienced person. If you have not given a shot try to get help, but remember that there is not much time to waste. You may need to administer the shot in order to save their life.

Stuff to Know:

The shot is usually a pre-filled syringe kept in the refrigerator

Stay calm and read the instructions

The best places for a shot are someplace fleshy like the rump

Remember, the shot is a last resort. Try to know the signs of a sugar low so that you can help with food or drink first.

Staying calm can be hard for everyone involved. It can be scary and difficult to know how to help. Try to be as understanding as possible but remember that if they need help you might have to get tough. -pm

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Parental Control

lollyTo understand type 1 diabetes is to understand a life of schedules, “diet” food, shots, meters, medicine, and more. The American Diabetes Association defines it like this: “Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in children and young adults, and was previously known as juvenile diabetes. In type 1 diabetes, the body does not produce insulin. Insulin is a hormone that is needed to convert sugar (glucose), starches and other food into energy needed for daily life.”

It can be managed but not cured. This autoimmune disease is difficult for the person stricken with it; to know they struggle with it takes understanding from everyone around them. There is a lot of chemistry that goes on in the body and when it gets out of control it makes life hard.

Having a parent with a disease is never easy-it means having compassion, understanding, and knowing that it’s ok to get mad sometimes. I have a parent with type 1 diabetes (lets abbreviate – t1d). So the things that I write will be from the kid point of view. I hope to offer tips and suggestions for families that have t1d in their lives.  I’m not a shrink or doc so use advice – as on any site – to your discretion. I’m just a person with experience willing to share if it might help. -pm


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