It’s time to leave my old life behind and begin a new one.
I received my cluster of diagnoses during the early 2000s. During that time not one doctor urged, nudged, or hinted to me that I needed to make changes to how I lived my life.
Not ONE!!! Instead, they expected me to live like nothing had happened.
So I left each visit with the idea that my life would not have to change despite being diagnosed with fibromyalgia, psoriatic arthritis, psoriasis, and endometriosis.
Instead of issuing warnings or advice to improve the quality of my life, my doctors insisted that they would be able to find the right pill(s) to offset my symptoms and pain.
Of course, everything we tried failed.
Between the false hope my doctors issued and the pressure from friends and family to get better, making changes to how I lived never crossed my mind.
But it should have, and here is why:
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When I live my old life:
- I ignore the needs of my body/chronic illnesses
- I injure myself more often
- I spend more time in bed than actually living my life
- My family loses precious time with me
- I spend more time and money seeing doctors and visiting emergency rooms
Why changes had to be made
- The longer I ignore the needs of my body/illnesses, the sicker I become, and the more damage will occur.
- Refusing to accept the need to use a mobility aid creates more opportunities to fall.
- I was killing myself by running my body into the ground.
- My family needed me.
What changed my chronic life
- I made friends with my diseases. I got to know them and my body so well that after a while, I could feel the beginning stages of a flare coming on. In the past, I just pushed until I collapsed.
- Using mobility aids may have been hard to accept on an emotional level, but when I look back and see how little I have fallen since I began using them, I know I made the right decision.
- By recognizing and addressing signs of a flare or physical distress, I am able to avoid complications like my body mimicking a stroke or muscles freezing to the point of feeling rock hard for months on end.
- Spending the amount of time that I do in caring for my body, doing things differently, accepting what I can’t do, and letting go of unrealistic expectations has gifted me with less time in bed and more out making memories with my family.
The changes you need to make may differ, but no matter what, any change that involves listening to and respecting your body/disease is going to improve your life.
Don’t make the mistake I did by waiting 12 years.
Living our old lives doesn’t make us strong. Instead, it makes us weaker.
Living our old lives does more than increase our physical pain. It emotionally hurts our loved ones and us too.
Are you still living your old life?
Whether you are or not, I challenge you to examine your day-to-day life and pick one area/task that could be done differently in a way that won’t increase your pain level.
Then make that change.
You don’t have to change every aspect of your life immediately. Take your time, and make your changes one step at a time.