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

Are You in the Game?

Ever play a sport when you were a kid, or for that matter as an adult?  I’ve never been one for sports but I do get the gist of being in the game.  The idea, that like the lottery, you have to play to win.  There are no winners on the sidelines so when fighting a health challenge you have a choice; get in the game or be a spectator.

I’m amazed how many people are comfortable being benched in the game of life.  They move along the treatment trail with minimal input, minimal engagement, and not surprisingly receive minimal results.  Recently I had a client who has some medical concerns and we agreed that she needed to visit her physician since it had been years since she’d even had physical.  Upon meeting with her doctor she explained that she needed him to oversee her care; help keep things rolling and hold her accountable for keeping on track.  She’d do her part by taking her medication, go for labs when ordered, and share any difficulties she was having maintaining the regimen.

She recruited her doctor to be her health coach.  It’s clearly a role the doctor felt comfortable taking on so it’s a good match.  The patient was clear about her needs and her expectations so the communication was clear and directive.  According to her, it feels like a true partnership.  She’s making great strides in other areas of her life as well because she’s in the game.  She and I are working together creating a life strategy that is fulfilling, meaningful, and healthy.  Since we meet on a weekly basis we’re able to keep on track while figuring out any self-sabotaging behaviors or resistance to moving forward.

You’ve got to become a player when diagnosed with a chronic or life-threatening illness.   If you sit on the bench all you’ll get are splinters and they aren’t pleasant.   In fact, they will become one more pain in your ass…literally and figuratively.


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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