How to Cope With Health Issues and Not Worry About Each Day


We all worry about our health problems at some point in our lives. For those of us who have multiple health issues, we wonder if today’s going to be a great day to accomplish one of our goals or if it’s going to be a “Momma said there’d be days like this” kind of day. It’s a feeling of uncertainty, like walking on egg shells. Will this be the time I “crack” under pressure if one of my ailments acts up or will I be “scrambling” to the doctor asking, “When will this end?!!”

I’ve learned something over the years as a “professional patient.” If I can imagine that I’m “normal” for at least a day or even a few hours by keeping myself occupied with funny things instead of worrying about the “what ifs,” like “what if” my Crohn’s flares up or “what if” my gut blocks or “what if” my body throws another clot, etc. If I can do this, then I have won half the battle. If I worried daily when something was going to happen to me, I’d be missing out on what life has to offer, such as watching the butterflies dance in my flower garden, enjoying a starry night in my backyard or taking my basset for a walk with her best friend at the park.

Everyone has their own unique ways to cope and for me I find that talking to those who’ve been through something similar makes me feel like I’m not alone in my journey. For instance, the local ostomy chapter played a huge part in my acceptance of the ileostomy I was given. If it weren’t for the two female visitors who saw me the night before my surgery, I know I would’ve been in a different place. They answered my most important question, “Is there life after an ostomy?” and their answer was “Yes!! There is, and you can still do the things you’ve always loved!”

There are other ways to deal with a health issue besides attending local support meetings. For instance, there is the internet, phone support if the local support chapter offers it, email or even asking your physician if they have patients who volunteer by talking to others with the same problem. It’s not a sign of weakness to reach out for assistance. By doing so, you gain information on how to live. Knowledge is power. The more you know…

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