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

Are You A Quick Study?

We all know there is no prep course for what follows the diagnosis of a chronic or life-threatening illness.  There is no diagnosis on this planet that is, could be, or should be planned for so why would there be a prep course.  In actuality there is a prep course and that prep course is life.  You’ve been given opportunities every day prior to your diagnosis and now following your diagnosis to put your first.  You are presented with opportunities to create new priorities and develop new life agendas.

So how do you prepare for what lies ahead following the diagnosis?  We look for the magic bullet.  The one thing that will transform our experience from devastating to tolerable and then move on to the big crescendo of living a flourishing life.  What can you do to make this happen?

When kids are in need of tutoring we give them tools to succeed and yet when a person is diagnosed with an illness we often allow them to fend for themselves; that’s not very fair.  One of the methods used to prompt or reinforce ideas for kids is a flash card system.  Why isn’t there a flash card system for those facing a health challenge?  We know from learning theory that repetition imprints information on our brains.  One of the tenets of education is “repetition for emphasis”.  During a time of chaos and confusion don’t you feel that repetition of key principles would help reinforce a health and healing mindset?

The idea is to create a system for yourself that isn’t contrived, but something that assimilated into your being and becomes second nature.  If you’re able to make it part of you it won’t feel forced and you’ll have access to the health and healing principles whenever you need them.  Don’t make this process more difficult than it needs to be.  Constructing a set of flash cards can be as quick as getting a stack of index cards and writing in big letters key words or phrases that will keep you on track regarding your physical, emotional, and spiritual health.

The flash cards should be used to reinforce your feelings of partnership with your healthcare team.  They should reflect your strong sense of desire and determination to get well.  It’s crucial that you put cards in that will reflect your belief in your own healing abilities.  Give yourself every opportunity to succeed and become a quick study by using tools like your personal flash card system.


I've lived my life in service to others. I'm focused on mental health and how it impacts our relationships, culture, and society. Through creative expression and narrative I believe we can impact change.

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