When you are first diagnosed with a Chronic Illness, what are the first things that go through your mind? I know when my doctor told me I had Multiple Sclerosis I thought my life was over! I was young and only knew it was a debilitating illness with NO cure insight. I lived the first year after diagnosed in denial and a lot of sadness. But, as I got older I realized my life was NOT over and I could live a pretty normal life!
I have discovered there are crucial things that need to be done in order to control this disease as much as I can. The most important thing I can do is be positive about life. No matter what I deal with living with MS, it really could be worse. There are about 400,000 people just in the United States that live Multiple Sclerosis, some have a pretty “mild” case of this disease, whereas some have a really aggressive form. Yes, I deal with a lot of pain and some days are worse than others. But, I do not believe it helps me at all to sit and think about how much I hurt. I think it is better use of my time and energy to focus on the good aspects of life. I do have handicap parking because sometimes it hurts more to walk long distances. However, I do not have a walker or a wheelchair and have full function of my legs no matter how much they may hurt! I deal with a constant amount of pain in my back but shockingly enough a heating pad helps in short-term.
I have the love and continuous support of a very loving family. I think painful and difficult times would be so much more difficult without love. I value my family more than I can even begin to explain. My husband is here with me day in and day out and will listen to me whenever I need to vent. He offers me SO much emotional support as we all have our bad days when we think that nothing will ever improve. When I have a weak moment and go to him crying because I just want all my pain to go away, he ALWAYS assures me I will be okay and get better in time. He always makes sure I have everything I need in order to be comfortable when I am resting to get well! My husband has an incredible amount of patience and tolerates my stubborn behavior like a champ! My biggest problem is I want to do everything and never ask for help, but he works hard to get me to do less and rest more!
Another essential for living with a chronic illness is, getting the rest your body needs. As I have already made clear, I am really bad at this but doing my best to improve. I feel like I am being lazy when I just sit on the couch watching TV, but there are times I realize that is what my body is asking me for. Getting plenty of rest does not necessarily mean you need to sleep all the time, but it does mean you need to take time to turn your brain off and relax!
It is also essential to reduce stress from your life as much as possible. Life does come with stress whether it be work, relationships, money, health etc but we do have the choice on what extra unnecessary stress we allow into our thoughts. Is it really important for us to try to solve and worry about the problems a friend or family member might be experiencing? Now it does depend on the problem! If a family member is coping with something they just need someone to talk to someone about, that is perfectly fine as long as it does not consume our life to an unhealthy point. I have the compassion where I always want to help, but I also know there are certain things I can not do anything about and need to take a step back from the situation.
It is vitally important to love and value yourself. If we do not take care of our own health, we will not be able to be our entire self. Sometimes it is urgent for us all to take a break and think about what we enjoy! It is not selfish to think about what we need in life, which I am honestly still working on!
Thank you for reading and commenting of my thoughts for the day. I hope you had a lovely and relaxing weekend! Hopefully y’all are ready for yet again another Monday. Thankfully, I have a short week so I can only hope it is an easy week as people are preparing for the holidays! As always, stay strong and positive and good things are bound to occur! Enjoy the rest of your Sunday!!