Accepting a Chronic Disease


What are your top 3 solutions to help you cope? Share it in the Comments Below!

Before you go to the doctor you are hoping and praying that it is not serious. You are hoping it is something that will go away with treatment. Then the day comes and your life changes forever.

You go through all the tests your doctor ordered.  He might tell you what he thinks it might be or just wait till the tests come back. Now, you are sitting on pins and needles wondering and waiting. Hoping and praying that he is wrong. Then the day comes. Now your world has shattered around you. The doctor tells you that you have a chronic disease that you will live with for the rest of your life. He does tell you that there are medications that can help, but right now at that very moment, you’re focused on the disease itself.

What would be the first emotion that you might go through – anger, denial, sadness, depression, hope, mourning?  Whatever the emotion you go through at the very instance is not going to be there forever, but it is there and you are going through it.

Let’s break down the emotions.

ANGER: You are mad because your body is failing to be healthy. It’s failing to do what you hope it would do. You feel this disease has taken over your whole life. You have no control over yourself or your body anymore.

DENIAL: Telling yourself that this cannot happen to you. The doctors are wrong. You won’t accept what they are saying. This cannot be a part of your life.

SADNESS: Depression: Mourning: How can this happen to me. I do what I am supposed to do. I eat right. I lost everything I’ve known my whole life. My freedom is gone. I’m going to live with pain. I’m tired all the time and just want to sleep. I wake up sore every morning. I dread using the stairs. Hell, I dread getting out of bed most mornings. I wonder what medicines will work and which one will cause more problems. I feel like I am not living anymore but just existing.

HOPE: This is one thing we all wish is hope that we can go into remission. Be free of the pain for just a bit, to be able to wake up without hurting, to walk without cringing when you take a step. Hope that the doctors will find the right treatment so you can live a somewhat normal life. Hope that your support system is ready to deal with what is going to happen. Hope that your pain does not turn to anger at the slightest thing and you lash out at someone.

There is one thing I did not put on that list – strength. Strength is what is going to get us through this. To keep us strong through this pain we deal with, through being tired even when you wake up. Strength to deal with all the doctor’s appointments. Strength to tell Rheumatoid Arthritis, Fibromyalgia, OsteoArthritis, Crohn, and whatever else has come into your life to back off. You are bigger than this. You can do this. You can wake up each morning and say “Hey yeah I hurt but I am not going to let this stop me. I will do what I have to or at least try and tell myself I accomplished this today. And tomorrow I will try again.

Don’t frown on what you didn’t do. Praise what you did do. If you just got out of bed, you did something. If you were able to just wash the dishes that day, that is amazing. YOU DID IT TODAY.

Don’t let people bring you down. You keep yourself uplifted as much as you can. Keep your support team. We struggle each day to try to live as much as we can. To endure what pain we have going on that day. How tired we are. We lift each other up. And we pray for a better day.

Yes, I have Rheumatoid Arthritis and Fibromyalgia. But it does not have me.

What are your top 3 solutions to help you cope? Share it in the Comments Below!