Image Courtesy of dan at
Image Courtesy of dan at

At some point, it happens to each of us who has a serious chronic illness. We feel something “off,” and it doesn’t go away.

Perhaps it is a dull pain. Or a sharp pang. Or a rash. Or a sudden swelling. And we think, “Oh, no. Not again. Really?!”

We might have just been through a bad flare or medical procedure and are simply sick of seeing our doctors, making the effort to get to the docs’ offices, or adding “one more thing” to our long list of ills. Or, perhaps, our condition has been fairly quiet and hope has crept up so softly that we are comforted, optimistic that we’re embarking on a long stretch of relative calm. Maybe we have an appointment coming up, and we don’t want to have to call and ask an over-worked medical assistant to wiggle extra space for us so we can get in earlier than scheduled.

Whatever the back-story, sometimes we wait to call the doctor and wait for the “thing” to go away.

But, it doesn’t. It remains and, perhaps, gets worse.

Even those of us who have lived with illness for a long time have felt the frustration of that new, “one more” thing. And we’ve hesitated to call in the complaint (such a troublesome word for describing our symptoms – we’re not really “complaining,” we’re “reporting!”)

Yet, we don’t do ourselves any favors by hesitating or waiting to call our doctors. As we develop good, working relationships with our docs and their staff, we should at least call in and explain the new “thing” so that a more objective pair of ears can hear and determine if it warrants further investigation. We are sometimes embarrassed that, when all is said, done, and tested, nothing untoward is found. But that’s no reason to think that we shouldn’t report the new “thing,” even if it, too, leads to an “all clear!”

In the coming summer months, many people will vacation, travel, and enjoy activiites outside a normal, calmer routine. It might be reasonable to feel more tired than usual, or have something else “off” crop up.  But, to be on the safer side, the time we take to check in with our docs could help us enjoy more and flare less!

Joy and peace,




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