Whether it’s a heart condition or chronic illness, a medical diagnosis involving a serious disorder can be stressful and a traumatic event for the patient and the family. Dealing with problems like a broken bone or appendicitis is not easy. Still, you get back to normal life after healing bone or treatment of appendicitis, but the same can’t be said for chronic conditions such as arthritis and osteoporosis or some kinds of cancers, which last for a lifetime and have no proper ‘cure’ in sight.
After a diagnosis of such an illness, you might wonder about how your life will change, how to cover the medical expenses, and what treatment options to pursue. If you’re currently asking these questions for yourself or a family member, keep on reading. This article discusses helpful strategies you can follow to cope with a major medical diagnosis.
Make a Healthy Investment in Yourself: In treating any disorder, doctors and healthcare workers plan a list of lifestyle changes for the patient that can increase the chances of survival by decreasing the spread of disease. These lifestyle changes depend upon the type and severity of the disease. For example, in the case of epithelioid mesothelioma, doctors recommend patients stop smoking to prevent exacerbation of symptoms.
In addition to the recommendation of doctors, you can also follow some steps such as losing weight, exercising, stopping smoking, and shifting to healthier habits. Those who make such changes in their lifestyle are more likely to manage a stressful chronic diagnosis than those who don’t.
Investing your energy and time to make healthy lifestyle changes pays off in both the short and long term.
Manage Your Expenses: Financial issues during illness can become a source of stress and can limit your access to treatment, medications, and healthcare facilities. To prevent these issues, you can follow the following tips:
- Get health insurance or financial assistance from government organizations
- Minimize your expenses and set up a budget
- Discuss your financial condition with your healthcare team
The healthcare team can devise ways to reduce the costs of medications and treatment without compromising quality. Generally, brand-specific medications are expensive, doctors can recommend generic specific medications to avoid these expenses.
Manage Your Relationships: A chronic illness such as cancer or diabetes can take a toll on even the best and never-ending relationships. A sick person will be dealing with tons of emotional scenarios which can directly affect their personal, social, and work life.
To overcome this problem, try to talk openly about challenges with your partner and family members. You can also explain any financial income from your estate by way of life insurance. But don’t settle for any company and do your research. These PHP Agency reviews from agents in the business can help you make a decision.
In your daily life, you need to surround yourself with positive people – those who do not add stress to your life. Identify those people in your circle who can support you, and lend a listening ear to your struggle.
Manage Your Expectations and Emotions: Many serious health disorders develop unexpectedly and upset your life out of the blue. In this situation, you may feel overwhelmed by waves of sadness, fear, and grief or frozen by the shock you will never be able to cope with.
Such emotional upheaval can lead to bad mood disorders such as depression, anxiety, and stress. Managing such type of challenging situation is difficult, but it’s important to know that you are not powerless.
Allow yourself to feel okay and get to know that such difficult emotions are a normal response to a potentially life-changing situation. You can take different steps to deal with difficult emotions or visit a counselor or therapist who can help you sort out complicated issues.
Manage Stress: After the diagnosis of a long-term illness, you also have to fight the stress and depression that come with it. You need to learn the ways to cope with daily stress along with your illness. Following are some steps that you can follow to find relief from stress:
- Follow a healthy diet prescribed by a nutritionist
- Get regular exercise if you can
- Minimize your screen time because it can impact your sleep
- Use FDA-approved supplements that can decrease stress and improve mood
- Reduce intake of caffeine because high levels of caffeine may increase stress and anxiety
- Practice deep breathing
Be Patient: When a medical condition is diagnosed, the healthcare team carries out an array of medical tests and consultations before starting appropriate personalized treatment. Many patients become anxious because they want to see a clearer picture of the road to recovery. Believe in the healthcare team and be patient with the pace of diagnosis, treatment, and recovery.
It’s not always easy to be patient and it can be frustrating waiting on information from medical teams but doctors need to be sure they do a thorough job where your health is concerned. If you find yourself struggling during waiting periods, it’s okay to contact your doctor. Doctors like Hanid Audish DO can give you the best advice on how to manage your health well while waiting for a personalized treatment plan.
Manage Your Medication: Managing a proper medication regimen can be overwhelming. Set alarms or make a schedule on post-it notes and put them on your medicine cabinet or the bathroom mirror.
You can also learn about your condition by learning about the type of drugs you take, why and how to take them, and possible reactions or side effects. The more you know about your medical condition, the better equipped you will be to understand the whole situation. Talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or nurse who can put the medication information into perspective.
Pursue Activities that Bring Joy: A medical condition does not define you as an individual. You should still carry on with life and pursue activities that bring meaning, happiness, joy, and purpose to your life; such activities reaffirm to you that these define you as a person, not the illness.
We have different minds so we have different ways of experiencing happiness and purpose. If you are unable to follow activities you previously enjoyed, you can follow other activities that can enrich and nourish your spirit.
- Try to learn something new such as a new game, new instrument, or a new language.
- Go for a scenic hike, walk or run and spend time in nature.
- Involve yourself in the community through volunteer activities or attending events that are important to you.
- Pick up a new hobby. Join a support group where you can meet people struggling with the same illness as you and expand your social network there.
Conclusion: Diagnosis of a life-changing medical condition can have a life-changing impact on the patient and family. But managing this situation with the support of the healthcare team and a support system can make things easier for you and your loved ones.