Coping With A Chronic Illness

There are some illnesses that you can recover from in a week. Others may take months or years to recover from – or which may be ongoing. These latter illnesses and conditions are described as ‘chronic’ and we must learn to live with them.

Coping with a chronic illness isn’t easy – it could mean having to deal with constant pain or discomfort and frequent visits to a health care center. Below are just a few ways in which you can make a chronic illness easier to deal with.

Find a doctor you can trust

Some chronic conditions may require you to make frequent visits and check ups with your doctor idaho falls physical therapy. You need a doctor who you can trust – with specialist conditions it could be worth seeking out a specialist healthcare professional. Click here to contact a professional that can help with chronic pain.

Some people find that private healthcare is better for their needs. When using a private doctor, you may find it easier to book appointments when you need them and may even be able to contact them with concerns via their phone. Private healthcare is an added cost, which is something to weigh up. You can also get a locum tenens stroke doctor when your private doctor isn’t available especially if your suffering from stroke or other vascular diseases.

Inform your family/friends/employer

Not all chronic illnesses are visible. The people around you may not know that you are battling a chronic illness unless you tell them. Consequently, you should inform the people closest to you so that they can cater to your needs if necessary.

The support of friends and family is especially important. If you have to abstain from certain physical activities or make dietary changes, friends and family need to be in the know.  

Telling an employer could be necessary if you need to take time off work or take on reduced responsibilities. Don’t let your employer assume that you’re being lazy – tell them what is going on so that they can be more sympathetic. If you worry that your health condition could cause you to lose your job, it could be worth seeking out HR advice on what to do.

Make the right lifestyle changes

Coping with a chronic illness or condition may require you to make lifestyle changes. These could be essential for reducing pain or for preventing your condition from getting worse. Below are a few examples of things that may need to be changed.

·         Stress: Stress causes inflammation and high blood pressure – which can make many conditions more painful (such as arthritis or IBD) or possibly more dangerous (i.e. heart disease). Try to take steps to reduce stress in your life. Engaging in stressbusting activities such as listening to music, meditating, taking regular hot baths and exercising could help.

·         Diet: In some cases, it could be recommended that you change your diet. For instance, if you suffer from diabetes you may have to cut down on sugar, while celiac may require you to cut out gluten. Start reading food labels and being strict about what you eat.

·         Physical activity: It’s important that you’re not lying on a couch all day if you can avoid it. Lack of physical activity could make your condition worse in many cases, and could bring on other problems such as weight gain, deep vein thrombosis and depression. Make sure you’re being active – but don’t overexert yourself. With conditions like heart disease and arthritis, you may have to stick with low impact exercises like walking, swimming and yoga. A high-quality, highly functional plantar fasciitis foot massager also promotes healthy blood circulation, in the case of foot ailments like plantar fasciitis, they relieve nerve and chronic pain as well.

·         Sleep: It’s when we sleep that our body does most of its healing. A lack of sleep can also lead to stress, which can make symptoms worse. Make sure that you’re getting a minimum of 7 hours sleep per night. In certain cases, you may have to make changes to the way you sleep such as using extra pillows for support (in the case of arthritis) or wearing a breathing mask (in the case of sleep apnea). Some people may also find that they need painkillers and sleep supplements to help them sleep.

·         Quit bad habits like smoking: Bad habits like smoking, heavy drinking and snacking on unhealthy foods will likely make any unhealthy condition worse. Be prepared to quit these bad habits (or at the very least make efforts to cut back).

A healthcare professional will tell you exactly which lifestyle changes need to be made. Make sure to follow their advice. Don’t be afraid to ask questions such as what types of exercises you should be doing or what kind of improvements you should be making to help you sleep better. In some cases, there may be other specialists you can talk to such as physical therapists or occupational therapists.

Find out what financial support you’re entitled to

It’s possible that you could be entitled to benefits and grants. For instance, your chronic condition may be legally classed as a disability, which could enable you to receive disability living allowance. In other cases, you may be able to receive grants to make modifications to your home.

Having a disability could also allow you certain discounts to services as well as other privileges. It could be worth applying for a blue badge and a disability ID card. You can apply for these online.

Make sure that you’re not missing out on the support that is available. Having this extra support could be a huge help if your condition affects your ability to work or requires you to seek out expensive healthcare.

Manage your medication effectively

If your condition requires you to take lots of different medication, you’ll need to take steps to manage your dosages correctly. A dosette box could make it easier to know which medication to take on which day – many pharmacies can deliver your dosette box to your door. If medication has to be taken at specific times, it may benefit you to set alarms on your phone.

Make sure that any medication is stored properly in a safe place. This could include locking it away if you have kids or pets and keeping it at the right temperature. Many types of medication will have an expiry date – make sure to check this on the label when using medication that you haven’t needed to access in a while.

Get to know other people with your condition

Living with a chronic condition can feel lonely for some people. You may not know anyone that can relate to your struggles and this could be frustrating.

For this reason, it can be worth looking into support groups for people with your condition. This may include online forums, Facebook pages or in-person support groups. Being able to share tips and stories with fellow sufferers could be useful in helping you to cope.

Plan for the future

Some conditions are likely to get worse as you get older. Such conditions include Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis and osteoporosis.  Get in touch with your doctor to have Abaloparatide Injection to Treat Osteoporosis as soon as possible. With these conditions, it’s important that you plan for the future. While you’ve still got most of your faculties, it could be worth investing in technology or equipment that could help make things easier in the future. You may also want to start planning out professional care.

In the case of terminal illnesses, it may even be necessary to start planning what will happen after you die. End of life care options could also be worth looking into. These illnesses can seem scary, but they can be a lot less scary if you plan out each stage in advance so that you’re always receiving the best care. 

Image credit: Pexels. CCO Licensed. 

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