For anyone in India, my life/circumstances are quite the opposite of what anyone would envision. But for so many others, how privileged might my life seem to them from the outside looking in?
I can breathe without a concentrator mostly, walk on my own, drive, climb stairs, play around, laugh and live maybe not the way how others do it but in my own slow and simple way. Most of the things I need are only things I want, and what most others simply live without.
So when one is going through some illness, one gets negative, loses hope, gets depressed and this post is going to talk about what & how we feel or seek after we have been diagnosed for any kind of a Mental or Physical health issue.
It can be cancer or a minor surgery or lifelong disability.
A friend put this idea into my head saying why not to write about it. So here I am, trying my best to put the thoughts and emotions across that I feel and experience with.
The first few days after learning one is diagnosed with any disease is the hardest – they feel shocked, angry, confused, and worst of all, unsure what and how to go about it. This was not something they had prepared for physically or emotionally and sometimes even financially.
I have tried to gather things from my experience that what can and cannot help during the process of accepting one’s health issues.
Here we begin:
Check on them:
Reach out and check in just to let them know you care, even though you aren’t good at texting, calling, emailing, and Facebook messaging or simply listing them for a while after your work or on a Sunday. Checking in may seem like you’re putting in more effort but by doing so you are taking the two extra seconds to make them feel supported and care for in a practical yet easy way.
Don’t join the Pity Party.
Use it as a moment of encouragement: It’s already hard for them every day. Living with an illness sometimes is a moment to moment kind of lifestyle. When it gets really hard, it can be tough to handle emotionally. If you see or detect that he/she is a little down, don’t join the pity party but offer words of encouragement.
Be present/spend time with them:
In a digital age of less physical presence and more online presence, Giving company ever so often is a great way to make someone feel like they aren’t in it alone. Maybe you can’t attend an appointment with their doctor, but you can drop by after work for a cup of tea or quick chat and talk about it. Don’t allow the hustle and bustle of life to distract you from the actual important things in life.
Family members need to prioritize things when someone needs them- especially someone who has been sick or indoors for a while
Be flexible/don’t taunt or complain:
When I first got diagnosed there was roughly a six month period where I cut all the contacts with outside world as I was in despair and my friends who came to visit after few months faded/lessened. In the beginning this hurt, but later I realized our new dynamic wasn’t the friendship they bargained for. Look at it like this, before I was diagnosed I would be down to parties, have drinks, go dancing, etc. After I didn’t feel much like doing any of those things and my interactions with my friends were more low energy and “inside times.” Perfect example, Recently after one month’s indoor staying, I planned shopping and dinner with my sister but all of a sudden I got a muscle spasm and couldn’t move- So instead of the complaining about it (Because she had to shop for something important), we sat and chatted at my home for hours and she even gave me a massage to make me feel better. Instead of making me feel terrible because she had come all the way from some other city to pick me up, went through so much trouble, she was flexible enough to enjoy a “CHAT & MASSAGE.” Being flexible is a very practical way to support someone with chronic illness.
Listen but don’t compare:
When the person finally does reach out to you, often times we start unsolicited advice, testimonials of new cures, and judgments to our coping mechanisms. Or somehow the conversation becomes all about the other person.
Support Healthy Habits:
I started eating bitter gourd with my dad as I know its good for diabetes. So at home, we started eating foods in front of him which were healthy for him rather than not allowing him to eat other things which weren’t healthy for him. Google, a bit about their condition.
This is how others should behave around a sufferer but how and what one should do when going through a bad phase.
- There is nothing wrong with that. It’s not cowardly; it doesn’t make you less of a human being. Don’t try to bottle those feelings up. Because it might only add-on on your health issues and not let you think straight.
2. By giving yourself permission to feel upset, it also allows those around you to also express their emotions sometimes.
3. Include family members and encouraging friends. Don’t ever discuss it with people who always have the negative perspective about illness, who always talk about how one is dependent on others or one might die soon. Exclude them immediately. YOU DONT NEED THEM.
4. Your friends and family love you irrespective of you being unwell or well.
5. Seek for the right kind of a Doctor. Please check on the experience, credibility, and availability of a doctor. Don’t go to far away cities, where when you need the help on an immediate basis, it takes hours or days to reach. You might go for an opinion or extra check up to some other city or country but always look for a doctor in your own city. Don’t keep changing doctors. Look for a doctor who listens, understands and explains. That’s why there was a concept of family doctors before.
Sometimes life feels impossible to carry on. Sometimes you feel there are NO OTHER logical options. Sometimes suffering is our only reality, and there appears to be no end in sight. But then Remember, there is always a new morning after every dark night. Be that ray of light to someone. Be that hope.
#cysticfibrosis #Livingwithcysticfibrosisinindia #livewithcf #Arouba #yogini #motivation #inspiration #Geneticillness #geneticconditions #Travelwithcysticfibrosis
:-) A seeking one.
By profession, a Wellness Coach for Physical and Mental Health, Certified Yoga and Pilates Therapist, Grand Master in Meditation, Traveller and a Blogger