You receive a diagnosis, which is a great thing. I know, sounds absurd that it could be considered a relieving thing to hear. For those with a chronic illness, you’ve been suffering for possibly months maybe even years. At this point you want the diagnosis. So you can work on your health to get into remission, however, receiving it can also make you feel overwhelmed. A thousand thoughts will go through your head all at once. You try to think about what the next step is for you. All you want is to get better, but sometimes you just don’t know what you need to do. Here is a list of what to do next after you get diagnosed.
- Take a deep breath.
Now I know this seems a little obvious, however, after years of suffering, countless appointments, endless testing, and hospital stays the search is over. You can now put to rest all of the doubts people had that you were “faking” it. You now have a reason why your joints make you feel like you’re 70, when you’re actually 21. You can now put your mind at rest of feeling miserable, but the reason was unknown. You now have a name to blame the pain on. Take a deep breath, the detective work to figure out what you have is finally over.
- Study, study, study.
I’ve learned when you are diagnosed, your mind can be all over the place. You have a lot to think about. The best thing you can do is study everything there is to know about what you’re going through. There is no such thing as knowing “too much” about your illness. The truth is, with most chronic illnesses there will be limitations, diet preferences, and learning to adjust to your new life with your diagnosis. When they give you a prescription, it is in your best interest to study your medication. Learn the side effects, the benefits, and what to watch for incase of a reaction.
- Find support groups or a therapist.
I know some people aren’t keen on the idea of seeing a therapist. I wasn’t, but when you have gone through agony, pain 24/7, and your life changed in an instant, it is good to talk to someone. You’re under enormous amounts of stress, and the more you keep it in, the more it will build up. It truly is okay to ask for help. They really are there to listen to you, like a friend. I have learned techniques by going to therapy, and just by talking to someone, it honestly has helped me cope with being ill. I also recently joined a POTS support group recommended by my doctor, and it was the best decision I have made during my illness journey. It is always nice to talk to a friend or love ones, but you will always have the feeling that they don’t fully understand. Support groups are amazing in the fact that, there are people going through just about the same thing you are going through. Check online to see if there is a support group for your illness locally. They understand you’re hurting and they are there for you to help each other.
- Inform your love ones what you are going through.
I know this may seem strange, because you tell your love ones most things. I have learned that with a chronic illness you tend to hide some aspects of your life, due to not wanting them to see you struggle, bother them, or always tell them bad news. To be honest, it’s important to tell them what is going on to keep them in the loop. For example, I hid a situation where I was constantly throwing up for a while, and having migraines from my love ones because I didn’t want to bother them about my struggles. So they thought I was doing okay and would always ask to hangout, but I had to cancel and it made them think I was blowing them off. It wasn’t the case at all. When I explained what I had been going through, they absolutely understood. Its important to keep your friends and family updated, the more included they are, the more support you will have. They are there for you, and just want the best for you.
- Don’t give up.
They are finally starting to understand what you are going through and finding some answers. I know this life we have been given is tough but you are tougher. Hang in there and show not just others, but yourself how strong you are. You will get through this, don’t stop fighting.
For those with a chronic illness, you’ve been suffering for possibly months maybe even years. Remember, I know this life we have been given is tough but you are tougher. You deserve as quality of a life as the next person. Stay strong, stay positive, and never give up.❤
*I’m not here to treat, diagnose, or go against Dr. Orders. Just here to provide support comfort and help. *