So you finally have a diagnosis but what do I do now? Where do I go from here? We have tried to give you some concepts of how to start learning to deal with your disease and start you down your new lifestyle path.
The first thing you have to realize is that your life will change. How much depends on you. Studies show that your positive thoughts can influence your physical health at the same time having negative thoughts really could make you more illness-prone, say scientists. This study also links “negative” brain activity with a weakened immune system.
Life inevitably presents challenges and frustrations. It’s up to you to look for ways to improve your life and enhance your overall being. You can do a number of things to experience greater joy and pleasure in life:
Beginning your healing journey:
- Separate your identity from the disease’s identity
- You are a person, who is having a disease “experience.”
- Your Disease/disorder “experience” is your life’s reset button! Learn from it
- Disease may be in your physical body; however, it is NOT in your Soul or spiritual body
- Your health challenge is a diagnosis. Although it affects your life, it is NOT necessarily a life sentence. Rather than fearfully accepting your diagnosis, do research! Knowledge is empowering.
- Never own your disorder & make it a part of your being!
Anger: at your disease circumstances lowers the energy that you use to heal yourself. Positive energy creates more healing energy
- Perspective: There is ALWAYS someone who is worse off than you…and although you may not be happy with your current situation, they would be glad to trade place with you and your situation
- Choose to “Experience” you’re Health Challenge, Believe you Are, and Be the Survivor
- Caution is a wise pro-action. Fear is disabling and can rob you of life.
- Take the time and ask yourself these questions.
- Are you putting your life on hold because you have a disease? Your disease is not your identity it’s an opportunity to re-evaluate your life.
- Are you caught up in medical appointments, treatment schedules, tests and surviving that you’re forgetting to live? The best response is to remember to Laugh, Live and enjoy life now.
- Take each day for what its worth for the only thing we know for sure is now is all we have. So make each day the best you can, choose to make choices that create health, happiness and wonderful new memories.
- Having a positive attitude is one of the best things you can do for yourself.
Get a good medical team
Having a good team of doctor’s on your side will really help you as you battle your disease. Make sure you feel comfortable with them and that you can talk wit them and they will listen. Keep trying different doctors until you are happy with your team.
It’s a good idea to start a journal of all your symptoms, tests, dates, doctor’s names and addresses plus any other relevant information. You will be asked to recall many details as the years go by to different physicians along the way. Our memories can’t recall all those facts, so take the journal with you to all appointments.
Start your own personal medical file. Ask all your doctors for a copy of your reports, medical test and doctors’ notes. Keep this in a file at your home. It will save you so much trouble from trying to obtain a copy many months from now for another doctor or from having to go through the procedure again.
It’s hard to deal with a disease on your own. You’re not sure how to feel and how to handle all the emotions that come with it. That is why it is good to get in contact with a support group and talk to others who are dealing with the same issues as you are. You finally can feel like your not the only one going through this, there are others who understand. You are not alone in dealing with all of this.
Many friends and family members won’t be able to understand what you are really going through because you will probably look good. It is very important right at the beginning that you educate them as to your disease and the affects that it can have on your body. These are the things that they can’t see. Also explain that you may not be able to do all the things you did before in the same way. You may need their help. Most family and friends have no idea what to say to someone who has a chronic illness because of fear. By opening up the door and speaking to them, it will allow them to be able to feel free to talk to you.
You may have to be on many medications at one time. Many of them have side effects and some may not work as well for one person as they do for another. It is important to work with your doctor to find the right balance of medication that works just for you. This means a lot of trial and error. Be patient, there is not one medication that works for everyone.
Watch your mood. You may go through many different moods, anger, frustration, guilt, depression, and so on. These feelings are normal as you are leaving your old self behind and trying to find and adapt to your new life. Many people have a hard time coping with all these feelings. It’s ok to seek help by getting counselling or going on an anti-depressant. The alternative is to keep these feelings inside and making yourself sicker or even worse taking your frustrations and anger out on the people you love. Pay close attention to your behaviours and catch things early.
Since you have no real control over your illness you can gain control over how you deal with it. Become involved in helping others by volunteering with an organization. If you feel that is too much become an email buddy for someone in the same situation as you. Any support group could arrange this. Organize a fundraiser or put your talents to work in a creative way. Anything that you can do will give you a feeling of control and power over your disease.
Above all know that you have the power over your disease, your disease does not have power over you. Look for the positive in all of it and embrace it, let the rest go. Remember to redefine the new you and live each day to the fullest.