Advertisement

Good Days…Bad Days With Maureen Pratt

Good Days…Bad Days With Maureen Pratt

Chronic Illness: One Size (Often) Does Not Fit All

Have you ever had someone tell you you “must” do something for your illness, but your doctor has advised against it? Or, had someone say, “I know someone with [your illness], and he/she is really healthy.” [implying, “what’s wrong with you?”] Or had one person say, “I don’t have any problem taking [medication],” when another tells you, “I couldn’t take that because of the side effects.”

Advertisement

If so, then you know what some have great difficulty understanding: With chronic illness, one size often does not fit all.

This would be just a statement if it weren’t that it also poses challenges to each of us. Socially, medically, spiritually, because each of us will have different symptoms, degrees of those symptoms, and all sorts of other considerations, it can be difficult to help others understand what we’re going through. To some, for example, “I’m tired” is answered with “take a nap and you’ll feel better.” But as a lupie, I can say that, when I’m in a flare, though I might nap for hours, it is rarely restorative. “Staying out of the sun” has different meaning to different people, too. For some, sitting in a park in the shade is what this means. But for the highly ultraviolet-light-sensitive lupus patient, even that can stir up a flare.

Advertisement

With complex illnesses, having quality, working relationships with our medical team is so very important to managing the individuality of our symptoms. And, having good care with doctors and others who truly “know their stuff” is essential, too. Switching one generic med for another, treating with one antibiotic over another, and other things that might seem routine to some formulaeic-driven healthcare workers can be problematic for some patients whose chronic illnesses need more finely tuned attention than a “one size fits all” approach will give.

It can be tiring to have to explain so many things on so many occasions. How well I know! Sometimes, when I have to explain more specifically why I cannot do something, or how my symptoms and illnesses are intertwined, I worry a bit that I’m sounding “picky” or “wimping out.” More than once, someone has said, “I’ve never heard that,” or, “oh, really?” when I’ve tried to explain a specific aspect of life with lupus and the other conditions I have, and pick up on the doubt behind those statements. And sometimes, especially in social situations, I struggle to join in the conversation if it turns to the latest hair care trend (I’ve lost all my hair due to my illnesses), planning a group activity outdoors, etc.

Advertisement

But despite the challenges of being uniquely you and me, the individuality of life with chronic illness is yet one more manifestation of the uniqueness that exists in God’s eyes. Truly, He knows each of us by name, even before we were born, and His love falls upon each of us as precious, individual lives created in His image.

No, for us, one size often does not fit all. And that makes living all the more un-specifically special!

Blessings for the day,

Maureen

Advertisement
Comments Post the First Comment »
post a comment

Comments are closed.



Previous Posts

Chronic Illness: How We Give
When you have a chronic illness, and associated expenses and unexpected health upsets, it can be hard to figure out how to give to those who are less fortunate (and, yes, although it might be hard to imagine, there are many people who are less ...

posted 5:20:22pm Feb. 06, 2016 | read full post »

Chronic Illness: Prayer that Travels
I am about to leave for a long and no doubt fatiguing test. I didn't expect to have to fit this into my week, but, well, as you know, with chronic illness "thing happen." I'll take all the necessary paperwork and cards, a cap for my head when I ...

posted 5:13:21pm Feb. 04, 2016 | read full post »

Chronic Illness: All the Bluster
We had a mighty wind storm over the weekend. The palm trees outside my window were bent all the way to 10 o'clock, and at ...

posted 5:12:03pm Feb. 03, 2016 | read full post »

Chronic Illness: Is the Grass Greener on Another Side?
During the Christmas holiday, I happened to meet a fellow traveler who was returning from a brief trip. He explained that he had a young family and hd been thinking for quite some time about moving out of state, to another place where he felt he ...

posted 10:07:53pm Jan. 22, 2016 | read full post »

The Importance of an Illness Mentor
When we work, a mentor can be a valuable ally as well as someone who steers us when we might be heading in the wrong direction. A spiritual mentor (or spiritual director) can be a wealth of wisdom and guidance, especially when life gets murky. ...

posted 9:55:37pm Jan. 20, 2016 | read full post »

Advertisement


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.