Posted in after the diagnosis, coping with chronic illness, coping with life threatening illness, living with chronic illness, Living with Illness

The Daily Fear

Ever wonder if you owned a newspaper what you would call it?  If you’re facing a health challenge you may call it “The Daily Fear”.  I’m not talking about the overall fear that people experience when facing a chronic or life-threatening illness; I’m talking about the pervasive fear that is prominent the moment you wake in the morning.  The fear grips you at your core because the possibility that something happened in the middle of the night is a possibility.

The “big” question for those of you facing a health challenge is, “Has there been any change since yesterday?”  We don’t ask that question wondering if things have changed for the better, but has there been any deterioration since the day before.  I’ve spoken with many who upon opening their eyes begin moving a daily routine of moving their bodies to make sure they still have mobility.  Some ask another to listen to them recite something hoping their memory is just as strong as the day before.  The rituals are numerous but all have the same goal, taking a physical inventory and comparing to the status at the end of the previous day.

I’m wondering if it’s possible to detect the day-to-day changes.  Think of raising a child, the parents don’t often see the growth because they see the child every day.  It’s only after the child is seen by someone they haven’t seen in a while that the growth spurt is punctuated.  Is it possible on a daily basis to do a self-assessment of your status?  That’s one of the reasons that having a regular schedule to see your doctor is so important.  The doctor will be able to detect the subtle or incremental changes. 

What happens when you complete the daily inventory?  Are you cognizant enough of your own body to recognize the change?  What do you do if you do notice a change?  The real daily fear is not about the change that occurs, but the impact that the change will have on all aspects of your life.  Each person has a tipping point where they ask themselves, “Is it worth the fight?”  Will the daily fear of change impact your quality of life?  What will it prevent you from doing if you notice a change?

The daily fear is about worry and the truth is that worry doesn’t change anything.  What does change things is a positive attitude, good nutrition, sufficient rest, laughter, love, good social relationships and a host of other factors that ignite your immune system.  Instead of looking for the subtle negative changes, consider how your actions today will keep the changes at bay.  What are you willing to do today that will limit or eliminate the changes in your physical being?  Think about what you can do for your physical body today that will strengthen it. 

There is no way to predict what or when changes will occur in your body.  For most, fear is not a motivating factor but an inhibiting one and you have enough inhibiting factors in your life…do you really need one more?  Consider starting your day with a daily fear-buster.  What do you have in your health arsenal that will strengthen the body, mind and spirit.  Give yourself every opportunity to ward off the negative and instill the day with hope.