I'm writing this post for the Patients for a Moment Blog Carnival, the topic is "The Stresses of Chronic Illness" chosen by Selena from Oh My Aches and Pains
This is a huge topic. I have learned different techniques over the years to handle stressful situations, I’ll be honest and tell you none of them have worked really well. When I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis in 1988 I was told to avoid stress, it would make my condition worse, the same was said with the addition of my Sjogren’s Raynauds and Lupus. Just being alive is stressful, there is no way to avoid it, being in pain day in and out causes stress, I find going to see my doctor causes me to stress. Will I get good news or bad? What will my blood tests say today?
You worry about the medical bills, the cost of your prescriptions. Which appointment and medication is absolutely necessary? You have to be selective to keep up with your everyday bills. On top of that there is the worry of, your insurance approving your medication? Will the medication make me sick?
The stress of the illnesses, watching what they do to your body, your hair falling out, your fingers bending, damage to your teeth, losing your vision, scars all over from joint replacement surgery. Will your spouse still find you attractive? Your self esteem goes down the tubes.
You can’t predict the next hour, you can’t plan to go to an event. You deal with guilt, sadness, anger, frustration, loneliness, people judging you, worse yet you judge yourself.
When you go to bed, you toss and turn hoping for sleep, wondering if you will be able to get up in the morning. Will I be able to attend my child’s event? Can I clean my house? The list is endless.
When my stress level gets too high, I write, go for a walk when I’m able, listen to music, read, play games on Facebook, watch movies, go for a drive, read other people’s blogs, anything I can find to get my mind off the situation and relax. There are times when nothing works, and the stress is ongoing I’m not sure what the answer is, if anyone out there has it, let me know.