8 Lessons Learned Through Chronic Illness
When you become poorly life will never be the same again, don’t worry it’s not all bad!
How are you?
1. Everyday conversations turn into medical updates, discussing how your symptoms are affecting you that day/week/month/year. A simple how are you results in an update of your health since you last met. You are so used to discussing your symptoms with doctors, nurses, consultants, fellow warriors you talk freely in conversations with others often only realising you have given touch much info by the horrified look on their faces. You forget that this is not everybody’s norm, that life isn’t like this for everybody, that you are different.
Monitoring every move
2. Your life becomes consumed with your illness. You monitor everything that happens, comparing and reflecting on what has happened before. Is it the same? Is it better? Is it worse? Why is it worse? What have I done/eaten/drank to cause this? Have I done too much? Question after question floating around and around in your in your head. You know yourself inside out, you have become so in tune with how you are feeling you make better predictions than the weather forecasters.
The Grieving Process
3. Your life changes slowly at first, sometimes you don’t even notice then, from out of nowhere, you get a horrible feeling of loss, an intense mourning as you realise life will never be the same again. Even if they find a cure, you have an operation, there is a miracle; life will never be the same again. You look around and everyone else is carrying on with their lives, enjoying the things you had once taken for granted. You have become so resilient you don’t even realise how strong you have become, how much you have taken on board, how much you deal with.
4. Life now revolves around doctors appointments, MRIs, blood tests, urine samples, CT Spect scans, ultrasounds, nurse visits, consultants meetings. Everyday searching for mail or through your emails waiting for a report or an appointment. You have added consultants secretaries by their first name in your contacts and sometimes your emails can be over-familiar as you pin your hopes on building a relationship for them to remember you so if a cancellation happens they will think of you straight away.
5. When you look in the mirror sometimes you don’t even see the person you used to be, instead you see pain etched in the lines that have started to appear, these aren’t the laughter lines you were hoping for instead they are the lines that appear when you face contorts and your teeth tense so tightly your eyebrows furrow. Fatigue washes over you in the most ridiculous places; halfway upstairs, in the shower, getting dressed, at the checkout. There’s no rhyme or reason to your life anymore.
No hangover but still feeling crap
6. Nights out pass by, the only memory you have is looking at others statuses or photos the next day and even though you didn’t have a drink you hardly feel fresh as a daisy. You watch as people you know do the things you used to love; going for a run, going to the gym, even the jobs you hated doing you now miss as it’s another sign that things are not right.
The butterfly effect
7. Every day you are changing, evolving, transforming into someone with a different view, new perspectives and hopefully a better understanding of the world and others. Who would have thought that life would turn out this way?
8. Through all the pain, discomfort and suffering remember YOU have survived to fight another day so hold your head up high and don’t ever forget who you are or where you have come from, for its the experiences that you have personally been through that have shaped you into who you are today…
A beautifully brave, strong, resilient warrior ready to fight another day.
Over to you…
Does any of this resonate with you? would love to hear your thoughts…
If you know someone who is going through something similar and you think they would find comfort in these words, please share with them…
We have started a Feel Good Ambassador Facebook group so we have a place where we can support each other no matter what life throws at us.