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

Crossing Guards

Well today is a big day in San Antonio, just like it is in many cities across the country; school started!  It was cute watching all the little kids waiting for the bus, riding their bicycles to school, and being walked to the school door by their parents.  I dropped my movie off at Red Box, got coffee, and as I was crossing the street I was greeted by the crossing guard.

Crossing guards for those who haven’t seen one in years are those who make sure the kids get across busy intersections safely.  This morning the woman must have been 70 years old, dressed in her neon green harness carrying a hand-held stop sign…it takes me back.

It got me thinking about how we protect our kids, but what about adults?  Don’t we need crossing guards in life?  What if after your diagnosis you had a crossing guard who helped you with this huge transition?  What if you had a crossing guard who helped you bridge the gap in the new language you’ve got to learn to speak?  What if you had an emotional or spiritual crossing guard who gave you the freedom, flexibility, and safety to take those leaps of faith necessary on your journey to wellness.

There are circumstances since you’re diagnosis of a chronic or life-threatening illness that you may consider to be unsafe or dangerous intersections.  These are the moments when you may be unsure of a treatment regimen or you have questions about side-effects from medications.  It’s important to find the crossing guards in your life.  Speak to the nurse in the doctor’s office if you’re unsure about medical speak.  Ask your pharmacist for advice about drug interactions and side-effects; that’s their business.

If you shift your frame of reference from these people in your life as mere medical professionals, and think of them as crossing guards it might help to normalize the experience.  Keeping things as normal as possible during this time of transition is key to your health and healing success.