Posted in after the diagnosis, coping with chronic illness, coping with life threatening illness, Doctor's Visits, living with chronic illness

How Proactive Are You With Your Symtoms?

I’ve been very aware of my body for a very long time.  I know that many of you will say, “Well of course you know your body, what’s new?”  Well the truth is, and those of you with an illness I’m sure will concur, when you have an illness you have a new and intensified intimacy with your body, inside and out.

There are times when simple little things may turn in to big things.  While I was away, working out-of-state, I noticed that the amount of gum I was chewing had increased sharply.  You may be laughing at this point asking why chewing gum implies a symptom or illness.  Well to tell you the truth, I didn’t think about it for a couple of months.  When I returned home I began to wonder, much more focused, about what this could mean.

As I began to ponder what this might mean to my health it occurred to me that maybe I was chewing gum because I was thirsty.  As I began to explore this as a symptom I began to wonder about diabetes.  My maternal family has a long-standing history of diabetes.  My mother was diagnosed about four years ago with diabetes and began insulin injections a few months ago.

It was time for my annual lab tests checking my liver function and lipid panel.  When I called the nurse in the dermatology, I asked if it were possible for her to add a glucose test to the panel.  I was hoping she would be able to add this test instead of sending me to my primary care physician for this non-dermatology related lab test.  She did add this to my lab order.

I had the tests done and not only was my lipid panel great, my glucose level was right in the middle of the normal range. Obviously these results were great relief and one of those moments when I followed up an inkling in my body.  Having this knowledge of my body, my family history, and an knowledge of common illness symptoms helps as I move through life as a person with a long-standing health challenge.  My hope was not to add to the list of diagnoses on my medical chart.

How well do you know your body?  How much do you know about your family medical history?  Are you attuned to your body and do you notice subtle changes in your physical being?  These are important on your journey to health and healing!

Posted in Partnerships

Wishing Doesn’t Heal

You can’t wish away a hill or a mountain, so why do some people think they can wish away their illness?  I believe the “wish” mode kicks in when the individual is following one of two paths.   Either they are too lazy to do the necessary healing work, or their belief system in “wishing” is so strong and they have witnessed that type of healing

In my world, I know after years of wishing that participating in my healthcare makes all the difference in the world.  It’s amazing the path your healing journey can take when you plan for it the way you might plan for a vacation (obviously we know which one is more fun).

When preparing for the journey you have to be clear where you want to be.  You have to have that dialogue with your doctor because it may require your treatment plan to be a bit more aggressive.  I know when I have chosen treatment regimens I’ve been very clear to the doctor that I don’t need every symptom to gone, I don’t want to be uncomfortable, but I’m not trying to pass in this world as someone who is 100% without medical concerns.  This conversation allowed us to pick a medication plan that has the least number of side effects, and if it works it has the least long term effects.  The bottom line is that I can manage my illness without worrying about dreadful long term effects that might cause more harm and truly impact not only the quality of my life, but my longevity.

Know ahead of time what you want to spend…I DON”T MEAN FINANCIALLY.  What energy are you willing to exert in return for improved health.  Years ago I had a client with AIDS who have CMV retinitis.  His treatment included a daily home infusion that would take three hours and it had to be done before he went to work.  To save his eyesight he was willing to get up three hours early in the morning to do the infusion and that became is new normal.  You sweat equity may not be that drastic, but know ahead of time what you’re willing to do.  Are you ready to learn to self-inject medication?  Are you willing to attend physical therapy three times a week?  These are just examples, but knowing this ahead of time will aid your doctor because he won’t prescribe a plan that you won’t be on board with, and the treatment regimen prescribed will have greater success with you on board.

Don’t throw wishing totally out the window because the hope of wellness is good for the psyche.  Include wishing in your total medical plan and you may even come to convert wishing into action in your spiritual life…we can only wish.