Millions of people across the world are fighting battles that a lot of the rest of us don’t know anything about. Many people suffer from chronic illnesses that impact the way they live their lives every day, ranging from asthma to mental health conditions to arthritis. A chronic illness is one that lasts for a long time and that often can’t be cured. This means that people generally have to learn to live with it. If you’re in that position, here are some tips to help – and if you aren’t in that position, chances are that you know someone who is, so read on to understand a little more about their life…
Take Medical Advice--
Let’s face it: a lot of us don’t trust our doctors as much as we should. We diagnose our own illnesses on Web MD (even though the answer is usually, alarmingly, “It’s cancer!”) and we don’t trust the courses of treatment that we’re given. This is both a good and a bad thing – of course it’s a great thing to keep curious and to research your own health but at the same time, we need to trust medical professionals to know what’s going on with us and treat us well. Remember that you should take things that your doctor tells you with a pinch of salt, but at the same time, listen carefully to his or her advice. They’re trained, they know more about medicine than you do, and chances are they’ve treated plenty of other people with similar conditions. They might help you more than you think they could, and it’s important to be able to have conversations with the people who are providing your medical care. Make sure that you follow the courses of treatment carefully – make sure you have a Ventolin inhaler for asthma, follow an exercise routine if you have arthritis, and ensure that you take any medication when you need to. Your doctor can only do so much – the rest is up to you.
Be Your Own Advocate--
Although you should, of course, trust the medical professionals who are looking after you, you should also do your own research and be your own advocate. No one else will argue as vociferously on your behalf as you can, and if you truly believe that you aren’t receiving the correct care or that your symptoms aren’t being taken as seriously as they should be. Make sure that you do your research and find out any side effects of any courses of treatment that you may be given, and before every medical appointment you should write down all the questions that you want to ask your doctor to make sure that you know as much about your health as you possibly can. Remember that no one will be as invested in you getting healthy as you are.
Be Open With Your Employer--
Your chronic health conditions will affect multiple areas of your life so you may have to talk to your employer about amending certain areas of your job so that you can work more comfortably – for instance, you may no longer be able to lift heavy objects or sit at a desk for longer than a certain amount of time. Make sure that you work with your employer to find a solution that works for both of you. If your chronic condition means that you get tired easily, talk to your boss about that, too -you may be able to work part time or flexible hours. No matter what issues you may have at work, make sure that you communicate them carefully so that you can find solutions.
Be Careful With Your Mental Health--
If you have a chronic health condition, then it can affect your mental health negatively. Dealing with pain and discomfort every day is the kind of thing that can wear a lot of people down – it’s really important that if you find yourself in bad moods a lot of the time or not taking as much pleasure in the things that used to make you happy, that you talk to your doctor as soon as you can. Mental health problems can affect your whole life – they can make it hard for you to leave the house, they can make it almost impossible for you to keep yourself entertained if your health condition means you have to spend a lot of time at home, and they can generally make you a lot more unhappy than you should be. Make sure you take care of yourself and go to the doctor if you think you may be suffering from depression.