7 Steps to Manage a Chronic Illness

Chronic illnesses are long-term diseases. These are the ailments that will not leave the body of an individual. If an illness is present in someone’s body for three months or more, it is a chronic sickness. There are lots of chronic disorders in the world today. In fact, most of them are terminal in the long run. Examples of chronic conditions are asthma, diabetes, kidney disease, heart disease, arthritis, and HIV/AIDS.
A lot, if not all, of chronic illness cannot be cured. The initial reaction of a person that has been diagnosed with one of these terminal diseases is always negative. The fact that you have a chronic condition does not mean that you cannot live life to the fullest. Chronic illnesses can be financially draining. If you do not know the right steps to take, you will be spending a lot of money to stay alive. Sometimes, your career can even be affected. For someone who has to be in and out of the hospital often, it can lead to loss of his job. For someone who does not have the support of his family, it is an emotionally draining journey.
You can have a chronic illness and radiate perfect health. You just have to know the best way to manage the disease. For example, a person diagnosed with asthma may not have an attack for years. The secret is to find out what triggers it and staying away from such things. This example applies to almost all the terminal ailments around. Here are steps to manage chronic illness:
Be positive: You have just received the doctors’ report of the tests carried out on you. After reading the diagnosis, the next thing you probably would do is start shedding tears. You may begin to reflect on your life and start to try to figure out how you got to this stage. Such actions will not help you. Your tears, though unavoidable, will not take the illness away. Rather, it can give you more by adding a headache. You now know what has been making you feel less than yourself for a while. It is hard, but you need to stay in control. Take charge of your emotions and tell the illness that it cannot bring you down. It is your body, speak to it and take back full control. Will these take the diagnosis away? Definitely, No. But it will allow you the stability you need for the next step.
Get knowledgeable about the illness: You need to get up and know all you need to know about the illness. It has invaded your body, so the best thing you can do to manage it is to know all that is available to be known about the condition. The first source of your research is your doctor. He should be able to tell you all you need to know about the disease. Ask all the questions you have in mind. If you do not understand the answer, ask over and over again. There are times that your doctor may not be able to fill up all the blanks for you. Get on the Internet and download relevant materials. Read extensively and go back to your doctor with your discoveries. You can both go over all you uncovered till are satisfied. The object of this action is that ‘if it lives with me, then I have to get to know it. ‘
Get more professionals involved: This is about building a team of professionals to manage you. To maintain this state, you will need more than just a general practice doctor. Depending on the ailment, you may need a Nurse, Surgeon, Dietician, Physiotherapist, Laboratory technicians and more. Based on your research, you should be able to know the professional you need. Build a relationship with them. Let them know how you feel per time. If you don’t tell them, they may never know.
Don’t miss a routine: Your team already has a charted action plan towards managing the illness. To make it worthwhile, you have to give them your full cooperation. Do not miss your regular medications. Take then at the right time and stick to the right dosage. You will probably have routine scans also. Do not miss any scheduled one. The scan will help them to know how you are progressing. Help your team Of Health professionals so that they can help you.
Take care of yourself: Nobody can love you more than yourself. Managing the chronic disease solely lies in your hand. You need to take care of yourself. Make the necessary lifestyle change. Depending on whatever you have, you may need to lose weight. For some, it requires a change in diets. For others, it may be a change in an environment that is necessary. Do what you have to do. You can exceed life expectation if you take the needed steps. Find out what applies to your condition and do it.
Involve your family members: Family love is paramount at this stage. Do not hide your status from your family. They need you as much as you need them. They do not want you to go through all these alone, and you should not also be. There will be days that you will need to draw strength from them. Get them involved!
Be a part of a support group: A lot of people here in the United States are going through this same illness. Reach out to them and be a part of support system. You get to learn a lot of things from one another. Your coping skills will significantly improve.
Your perceptions of your condition play a significant role on how it will affect your life. That you have a chronic disease does not mean the end of the world. If you manage it correctly, you can leave an almost perfectly healthy life. Living with a chronic illness alone is a long journey. You should not travel this road looking miserable all the way. Manage it well.