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

Get Out Your Day Planner

I like the Bravo network for their reality shows.  I’m a textile artist, among other things, and my father worked in the garment industry most of my life so I’m familiar with fashion.  The Rachel Zoe Project follows the working life of a famous Hollywood stylist.  I’m setting up the scene, this isn’t about what famous people are wearing.  During a recent episode Rachel begins complaining of being nauseated to the point that it sends her to bed.  Finally they take her to the doctor.

During the exam the doctor’s diagnosis is vertigo.  She explains to Rachel that vertigo can be a one time event or it can last for months.  Aside for some medication, the doctor recommends rest and reduced stress.  Then in one liners that should be in the lead for a fortune cookie, Rachel says, “I don’t have time to be sick!”  I heard that and immediately started laughing, one of those good belly laughs.  My first response to the television as if Zoe could hear me was, “WELCOME TO THE REAL WORLD”. 

The truth is no one has the time to be sick.  It’s not like you can pull out your day planner and schedule sick time (unless you’re faking it to get out of work).  Why would Rachel Zoe think she would be immune to illness?  Why would Rachel Zoe believe that she wouldn’t have to follow the doctor’s advice and slow down, get rest, and reduce stress levels like everyone else diagnosed with a chronic or life-threatening illness?

It’s the sudden shift in life plans that makes the challenge of illness so daunting.  It’s the shattered assumptions of one’s invincibility that rocks our worlds.  It’s the not knowing how long a symptom will last or the illness will remain in an active phase that keeps us on our toes, worrying into the wee hours of the night.

No one is immune.  Everyone is a candidate for a health challenge.  The goal is to be an ally with our body not its enemy.  Take the steps you need to take to continue on your journey to wellness!


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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