So today I come home from my second overnight sleep study in three weeks with more questions than answers. To say I am frustrated, confused, and even a bit defeated would all be accurate. This may seem confusing when you read why below, but I promise to make sense of it. It’s important to keep in mind that medicine is rarely simple and especially for those of us with multiple or complex medical conditions it gets increasingly complicated.
Ever have one of those days? You know exactly what I mean. One of those days where it seems from the moment you wake up until the moment you finally lay your head back down at night where it seems as if the proverbial Mr. Murphy has touched everything you decide to do just to give you some unexpected challenges. Continue reading “One of Those Days…”
Hello and Happy New Year!
Now that we’ve managed to get through the craziness of the holidays, we can focus on the new year, new goals, and new tactics to manage your health challenges. Are you sick and tired of being sick and tired? Are you tired of your health condition(s) taking over your life? Are you feeling as if there’s no hope of improvement of your personal health challenges?
You’re not alone. These feelings are not only common amongst people like us who battle chronic illness on a daily basis, but they are also markedly increased during this time of year. This is for a variety of reasons, some of which include the inability to get out if you live in cold weather climates, which can lead to a feeling of being even more isolated from friends, family, or even people in general.
Fear not, for one of the focuses this year will be to focus on things we can do to mitigate those feelings, and improve our overall physical, and yes even mental health. No, I’m not about to tout the latest wonder drug for a particular illness or condition. What I plan to share over the course of this year are some simple items that you can undertake in order to empower yourself with positive ways in which you can control how you respond to the challenges you may be facing.
Mind you, there is no one single strategy, tool, or even medication that will necessarily cure each and every one of us regardless of our individual health challenge, even if we were miraculously all facing the same exact challenges. We are all individuals, and as such we each receive, interpret, and implement even the same exact tool, technique, or treatment in varying ways with varying degrees of success. As a result I encourage each and every one to not get discouraged if one or more of these suggestions do not seem to work for you.
First it is important to remember that many things, including medication that offers a cure, take time to work. Do you quit a medication the first few days you take it if you don’t immediately feel better? I highly doubt you do, and if you do you will certainly never achieve acceptable results or improvement as you didn’t give it a chance. Try a technique, treatment, or tool and take notes of how you felt after trying it. Document your journey. In this way you can honestly gauge how you feel after giving sufficient time to see if a technique works for you or not.
In addition to sharing tools to aid you in managing your overall health and well-being we hope to be able to meet with professionals in order to share insights into various treatment programs that may exist for those with a particular condition or illness. There are a great many programs that exist that even some professional practitioners in the healthcare field may not even know exist.
We also hope to gather more insights from you, the visitors to the site. Are you aware of a tip, trick, or tool that helped you personally? Reach out to us via the contact us page, and let’s see if it is something we could share with others. Have you attended a particular program or clinic that helped you with your ability to manage life with your chronic illness? Write to us and share it with us so that others can also learn about the availability of such programs.
Above all else, remember that There is Always Hope!
Let’s make 2018 our best year yet by supporting each other, sharing our experiences with each other, and improving how we manage our day-to-day lives while trying to decrease the negative effects on us, our loved ones, our families, and our friends.
Credit: Keep The Plug In The Jug – Facebook
I is for Inspirational
I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve been told how much I inspired someone to be better in their life. This applies to healthcare practitioners, other chronically ill people, and your average person you might see walking down the street. I appreciate the kind words, and it is nice to hear someone say something positive for a change. But to be honest, I just don’t see myself that way.
See I don’t envision myself as being that special. I do what I do because it is who I am. I’ve always been what some call a giver. Years before I even graduated high school, I joined emergency services. Not because of anything other than I wanted to help people, and I loved doing it. I was lucky enough to have a career in pre-hospital emergency medical services for many years before being diagnosed with a chronic and debilitating illness.
After my first (of many) diagnoses I promised myself I would find a way to continue helping people in spite of my illness. I became involved in a local support group for those with the same diagnosis. I began researching everything I could to not only help others but to help myself in the process. From the same early age, I was involved in volunteer emergency services in a variety of roles. All of these roles were rewarding, and I enjoyed each one in their own way. And I consider myself very lucky to have made a difference in more than one life along the way of the last few decades.
Others may see this as me being an inspiration to them. However, all I see is the fact that I have something to give, and in an effort to make sense of my own life and help others along the way, I plan to give just as long as I am capable. My ability to give has been severely hampered by physical restrictions of late, but I still have lots to give. I just don’t see how that makes me special.
I’m just another guy who is too stubborn (or stupid) to quit, lay down and die!
Has anyone ever called you an inspiration? How did it make you feel? What were your thoughts? Please share with us in the comments below! We’d love to hear from you!
E is for Being Excited About Life! #AtoZChallenge
So you or someone you care about has a chronic illness. It isn’t the end of life as you know it.
Remember the excitement for life that you had before you got sick? You can have that again! Just because your health has changed, maybe even drastically, does not mean all is lost.
Today, more so than ever before, technological advances have enabled even the most limited in physical activity to remain at the very least mentally active. So if you have the desire, there are lots of things you can do to remain active and yes, even passionate about life!
Without going into specific examples based on your previous level of knowledge and expertise in any given area, there are still a variety of things you could do to occupy your mind and your time. You could use your previous knowledge to educate others. For that matter, you could use your current situation as a catalyst so that, when you are ready, you can share your experience with others. You could decide to pursue further education and new career goals.
Maybe you are not only chronically ill but also suffer from the effects of chronic pain as I do. If you find yourself unable to hold regular employment, all is still not lost. There are still plenty of ways you can continue to feel like you have something to contribute. Even something as simple as becoming a volunteer in a facility or unit that made a difference for you.
While maybe that isn’t as fulfilling in your mind as employment, I can tell you that there is something quite as fulfilling as being able to give back to those that have taken the time to help you when you needed it. Remember when you were at the worst possible point in your health and someone took the time to stop and talk with you? Remember how good it felt that someone actually cared who maybe didn’t need to, in the aspect that they weren’t being paid to do so? You can be there for someone else. Maybe you encounter a patient who could draw inspiration from the fact that you had been where they currently are, and you prevailed.
Become excited about life again!
Have you found a new purpose in your life after health issues? Share your story with us below!