While short-term sickness is agonizing and discomforting, chronic illnesses like diabetes or heart disease are different. Chronic illnesses including, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, and arthritis, are lifetime conditions that you must learn to live with and manage. Although living with chronic illness is not easy, it is also not impossible. Below we outline various steps that can help you navigate and manage chronic illness and improve the quality of your life.
After the initial shock phase of discovering that you have a chronic illness, the next step is to learn about the condition. The more you know about the chronic illness, the better you equip yourself to manage it.
Therefore, ask your nurse or doctor all questions that might come to mind. When you’re doing your own research, be careful about the sources of the information that you consume. You can ask your doctor or nurse to recommend learning resources that you can use from home.
Change Your Lifestyle
Managing most chronic conditions need you to make lifestyle changes. This is where you need to call the shots and make appropriate changes. Your doctor is likely to suggest that you practice healthy eating and physical exercising. Also, the doctor might recommend that you stop other activities such as drinking, smoking, or eating certain types of food. By making the recommended lifestyle changes, you enhance the safety of your life. Also, you stop being controlled by cravings for certain things, and you decide to do what’s right for you.
No doubt, dealing with a chronic illness can be stressful. The initial discovery of the chronic illness is likely to cause the most stress to you. However, you must manage the stress alongside other emotions you might experience.
Failing to manage the stress is likely to compound the effect of the illness. Therefore, experiment with different stress relievers, including exercise, cooking, deep breathing, and cooking. Also, taking time off your regular activities to relax is advisable.
You need to watch out for and manage other emotions, including anxiety, fear, and grief. You should also watch out for depression. Reach out to friends, family, and a mental health professional to help you.
Managing a chronic illness might involve taking prescribed medication and regular visits to the doctor. Keeping up with the medication is important because it restores balance to your system and helps to manage pain.
Set reminders on your calendar and phone to avoid missing doctor visits or medication. Set aside some time to perform the exercises your doctors recommend as you adjust to living with the condition.
True, chronic illness may disrupt and complicate your life. But, you should not despair. You don’t have to face your condition alone. Your doctors and nurses are compassionate and dedicated to helping you through it. Seek information from them, adopt the lifestyle changes they recommend, and manage your emotions. You will improve the safety and quality of your life.