What having chronic illnesses has taught me

Navigating life with multiple chronic illnesses is hard, I spend a lot of time battling crippling pain and fatigue which can make the simple is of activities a monumental task. That being said I have learnt so much from having chronic illnesses and I just thought id share some of them with you

❤️ Chronic illness does not discriminate – it doesn’t matter how young you, how fit or how active you are you can suffer with a chronic illness

❤️ To truly listen to my body and give it what it needs – with chronic illness if you don’t listen and act on what your body needs you will feel worse.

❤️Time spent resting is not wasted time – I have never really someone who has been able to just sit and do nothing. I saw it as there was always something that neededed sorting or doing. Now I truly listen to my body I realise that actually at times rest and to do nothing is exactly what my body needs and so is a good use of time and not a waste.

❤️ You can do everything right and still flare – you can take your medication, rest lots, eat well and get some fresh air and still end up in a flare which you have absolutely no control over.

❤️ To use my time wisley – as discussed in my post on spoon theory when it comes to energy those with chronic illnesses only have a finite amount. Meaning I need to think about how to use it and not waste it on things that I just don’t need.

❤️ The importance of mindfullness and being in the moment – mindfullness can help in a couple of ways, firstly its a great way of managing and minimising stress which is a major trigger for fibromyalgia and Endometriosis. Secondly it helps you stay in the moment, with chronic illnesses I often find myself stressing over things in the past and worrying how the chronic illness will affect things coming up both of these rob you of the present moment. So mindfullness can help you recenter yourself and just be in the moment.

❤️ Who my true friend are – when you have a chronic illness you tend to cancel plans last minute despite wanting to do whatever it is because your body just can’t manage it. You will lose friends along the way but the true friends will understand and stick by you no matter how many plans you cancel.

❤️ How amazing the online chronic illness community are – there is so much support in the chronic illness social media communities. There are so many people who are there to support you.

❤️ How to hide my symptoms really well – over the years I have masteree how to make myself look absolutely fine from the outside. I know some people may find this strange but sometimes in some situations its easier to not have to explain what’s wrong with me.

❤️ How to truly advocate for myself – endometriosis in particular took a very long time to diagnose as the medical system as a whole sees painful periods (even ones that leave unable to function) as normal. To get diagnosed it took me a lot of research and a lot of standing my ground and insisting I see a gynecologist.

❤️ The importance of preparing for medical appointments – my very first appointment with my gynecology specialist was certainly a learning curve, I got all flustered as I really didn’t feel I was being listened to meaning there was loads of things I wanted to say and ask that escaped me in the moment. After that I have never turned up to an appointment unprepared. I keep a diary of my symptoms (I use an app called bearable) , what they are, how it effects me, when they occurred and how long they lasted and what if any medication I took to help and how effective it was. I also have all the questions I need to ask writen down!

❤️ The true extent of my inner strength – I’ve always been very adventurous which people view as me being stong. But I never really understood just what inner strength I had till I was living in pain everyday. It takes a lot of strength to carry on with a normal day while your body is betraying you and raging in pain! No wonder the community calls each other as warriors.

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