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A Guide to Coping With a Newly Diagnosed Chronic Illness (Part 1)

Written by Courteney

Posted on March 24, 2017 at 1:26 am

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It can be daunting to receive a new diagnosis, especially if it is of the chronic variety. If you’ve been diagnosed with a chronic illness, it means you have a disease or condition that lasts for a long time (sometimes the rest of your life). Chronic illnesses are usually incurable, but treatable. Let’s take a look at a few helpful hints for coping with a new chronic diagnosis:

Accept What You Can’t Change

As with any serious bump in the road, the first step to dealing with a tricky diagnosis is to accept it. It can be temping to convince yourself you don’t have congestive heart failure or lupus like the doctors have told you and the tests have shown you, but this will only do you a disservice. If you are to do everything in your power to be as healthy as you can be, you need to face your condition head-on.

Be Your Own Advocate

When you struggle with a serious illness, it can be a long and winding road of emotional doctor’s appointments, tests and re-tests and conflicting opinions. While doctors are invaluable to the process, you shouldn’t just coast on blind faith. The best outcome will be achieved if you work together as a team, with you bringing the knowledge of your situation and symptoms, and the doctor bringing the medical expertise. At the end of the day, you are the one who lives your life and knows your body best and a doctor can’t read your mind. Your health journey should be a team trip, with you in the driver’s seat.

Foster Good Communication With Your Docs  

It pays to be on good terms with your attending physicians and specialists. If you have a chronic condition, chances are you’ll be needing them to take good care of you for the foreseeable future. If you’re a difficult patient, you may want to step back and reflect on how to change that. Even though any good doctor doesn’t let his or her feelings toward a patient color their care, it stands to reason that if you have a good relationship, he or she will be more likely to go the extra mile for you.

Knowledge Is A Friend 

While googling health concerns in excess can sometimes lead to health anxiety, if you have a specifically diagnosed illness, it is a good idea to at least read up on it. By learning more about your condition, you will be more aware of new developments in treatment, tips that can help ease your illness or potential complications to be on the lookout for. Just be careful not to let your research get the best of you, as that can have its own negative consequences.

Do Your Part

Your illness is not a one-way street where your doctor has to do all the work to better your quality of life, you have an active role to play in this movie too. It is important to do your homework and make the positive lifestyle changes you need to make to ensure a healthier future. If you have extra weight to lose, get it off. If you need to exercise more, get on it. If you should start eating better or following a certain nutritional plan, start today. You can’t expect to gain control of your health if you don’t do your part to get there.

There you have the first few of our chronic illness coping tips, check out Part 2 next! Thanks for visiting DocChat!

 

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