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

Storm Surge

The news is flooded with stories and pictures of the damage done by Hurricane Sandy.  The East Coast has been devastated by a storm that devoured a region.  First responders are still working very hard to rescue people that hadn’t evacuated.  Power is out for over 7 million customers and on top of it, fires broke out burning houses and exploding cars.

It’s one thing to see this force of Mother Nature take hold and be in command of the fate of so many people.  However, if you’ve been diagnosed with a life-threatening or other life-altering illness and have ever had a flare, you know what a storm surge is like from the depths of your soul.

Just like Mother Nature we can’t predict when an internal storm surge will begin its devastation.  For many, it comes on suddenly and impacts body, mind, and spirit.  The effects are devastating and it can take a long time to recover following one of these episodes.

This came on my radar screen this week when one of the individuals I was going to interview for my dissertation called with the news that she’s in the midst of one of these storm surges.  She’s very concerned about the impact this new bout with her illness will take on her life, and to say the least, she’s very discouraged.  There’s never a guarantee that health will be sustained, and when it’s compromised, like when a levee is breached, the fallout is difficult.

It took me a long time to understand my body’s own circadian rhythms.  I’ve come to understand that my body and my illness tend to revolt some time between Halloween and Christmas.  I’m particularly careful during this time period to take extra special care of myself physically, emotionally, and spiritually.  If the storm surge hits, I’m prepared for it and take the necessary measures to take back control of my health.  I’m not saying it’s easy, but it’s something I’ve learned to take on to live the best life possible.

Storm surges in nature, and in the body are difficult to predict much less control.  The only defense we have it to nurture ourselves and know that the body-mind connection is powerful.  The body-mind connection is the best defense along with good medical care for riding out the storm!


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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