This section will probably be used mainly by those with a chronic illness but if you’re new to te concept then you might want to read about life with an uncooperative body & what Chronic Pain actually feels like. If you’ve just received a diagnosis and you’re feeling a little low or overwhelmed please take a look at the pro’s and con’s of getting a diagnosis. If you know what I’m talking about and you’ve accepted your diagnosis then please dive right in.
I’m going to try to keep this info as generic as possible. This section provides information to help a variety of people with chronic illnesses or variable disabilities. My posts are aimed at self-management and learning to look after yourself.
A chronic illness is usually considered to be any condition that has lasted longer than 3 months. With many of these conditions there is no cure so it’s up to the individual to learn to live with their symptoms. Self-management might not get you back to the ‘old you’ but using self-management strategies appropriately can massively improve your quality of life.
There are countless conditions that fit the ‘chronic illness’ category but a number of symptoms seem to appear pretty frequently.
Pain, fatigue, reduced mobility, poor memory, trouble sleeping and low mood to name a few.
I’ve written a number of posts (and I will be adding more) aimed at symptom-management, simply click the hyperlinks below to see the full post.
Pacing, this involves taking frequent little breaks as supposed to big-can’t-move-over-did-it breaks. Pacing can be used to help manage fatigue and pain, and also to prevent repetitive strain. You might have tried pacing before but I still think my post is worth reading, although pacing seems simple it actually involves a bit of thought and can take some getting used to! Stick with it, the benefits outweight the difficulties!
Pain management. Now this isn’t always as simple as taking pills, lots of people do not tolerate medications well and it’s not always healthy relying on them. There are lots of strategies out there for managing pain, many of which you can do easily at home or on the move. My top strategies include pacing, posture, exercise, distraction, mobility aids, heat and cold, TENS and massage.
Joint Protection. Taking care of your joints is really important, especially for those with progressive or degenerative conditions. Joint protection involves adapting activities to make them safer and less damaging on your joints.
Mobility Aids. Deciding when to use mobility aids can be very difficult, there’s a balance between missing out on life and becoming over-reliant on wheels and sticks. Mobility aids can be incredibly beneficial and (if used right) actually help improve function.
Alternative Physiotherapy. I know a many people struggle to fit in all their physio exercises but sometimes all you need is a new approach. Pacing and joint protection apply to physio too! You might find if you change when and how you do your physiotherapy it’s actually easier and more effective.
Alternative Fitness. This is along similar lines to the above post on physiotherapy, getting fit can be a daunting process but if you break it down and take things slow it’s really not bad! Fitness isn’t always about spending hours in the gym!
Temperature Regulation. Too hot, too cold, can’t decide? You are not alone and it is possible to live with a wonky internal thermostat.
Relationships. Intimate relationships can be tough at the best of times but if you’re tired and in pain it’s even harder, it can also be difficult to feel ‘sexy’ when you’ve had to ask for help off the loo! Fear not though, it isn’t impossible.
Communication. For anyone who struggles to communicate verbally, especially during flare ups or emergencies.
Getting the most from healthcare can be challenging so it’s important to build good relationships with healthcare providers.
Sleep Hygiene. Support and maintain good quality sleep by setting up a routine and managing your activities.
That’s all for now but new posts will be added as I write them so please check back.
As always, questions and comments are welcome.