This week’s journal prompt is to help make you aware of how much you have learned about your chronic illness since you were diagnosed. Whether you knew much about your condition before diagnosis or not, you most definitely know more about it now.
Think back to what you knew at the time of diagnosis, then list what you learned along the way. What have you read, learned from doctors, or personal experience?
Take it a step further and think about how this knowledge has changed your view on the illness and how you live your life.
Continue reading for tips to help you look back upon what you have learned.
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Where We Learn About Chronic Illness
Chronic illnesses are conditions that last for a long time, typically for a lifetime. For some people, this may mean lifestyle changes, such as eating healthier or exercising more. Others may need to take medication on a regular basis. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to managing a chronic illness, but there are some things that everyone should know about their condition. Here are five resources for chronic illness patients to gain knowledge from:
- Your Doctor
Doctors are an important source of information. Their knowledge of your chronic illness can help or hinder your care. How knowledgeable were/are your physicians? What have you learned from them?
- Online Support Groups
There is a lot of information available online, from support groups and from other people with chronic illnesses. What groups have you joined? What have you learned from them?
Click here for a list of active online communities!
There are many organizations that offer resources and support for people with chronic illnesses. These organizations can provide information about insurance coverage, financial assistance programs, patient advocacy services, and more. Chronically ill patients often need help navigating the healthcare system, and these organizations can provide that assistance. What has your experience been with healthcare assistance organizations?
View a state-by-state list of government assistance.
- Your Friends and Family
Having a support system of family and friends who understand what you are going through is extremely important. They can offer practical support, such as help with activities of daily living or transportation to appointments, as well as emotional support when needed. Your support system may also notice new symptoms and behaviors that you may not have. What have you learned from family and friends?
Nobody knows your body like you! You are the only person who truly understands the adjustments that have been made to meet your goals, such as learning how to pace yourself and resetting priorities.
Chronic illnesses cannot be cured but have treatments to slow progression or address symptoms. Treatment plans vary depending on the individual and the type of chronic illness They may include lifestyle changes, medication, and other therapies. You are the best judge of how these treatments and changes are affecting your health and life. What have you learned from your own experiences?
It is important to remember that you are not alone. There are many resources available to help you learn more about your condition and how to manage it effectively. These five things will help you continue your journey toward better health management and understanding your condition better so that you can live a life you love, despite your diagnosis.