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14 Chronic Illness Life Lessons From My Mom

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It isn’t lost on me that not everyone is as fortunate to have a mother who believed their pain or symptoms as a child. I’m so grateful that my mom not only did that despite over 20 years before we got answers and my Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS) and vascular compressions diagnoses, but that she also taught me so many ways to overcome and make the best of my life with chronic illness. I now am teaching those same things to my daughters and would love to also share with you some of those life lessons:

• What is Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome?
• What Are Common Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome Symptoms?

1. Work ethic — even during surgery recovery I was going to make myself get up and walk because I work hard and it pays off.

2. Sometimes you just have to let things go. I know there were many times I had expectations and unforeseen circumstances happened, but I’ve been able to cope because she taught me that early on.

3. There’s always a reason. That’s why determination is so important.

Photo of contributor as a baby being held by her mother, next to a dog

4. Never stop learning — if it’s new research on EDS or something I learned from a sermon at church. You can always learn something new.

5. Health matters and being proactive matters — there are things we can do to better ourselves and improve our health and we should stay up-to-date with them.

6. Everything in moderation — sometimes you just need to celebrate with something special for a holiday or a mood booster.

Photo of contributor and her mother wearing flapper dresses at a roaring 20s party

7. Always be kind. Enough said.

8. Focus on what really matters. What’s the big picture? In the big scheme of things, is this really a big deal?

9. Even the smallest things (like a Dr. Pepper and Hershey bar) can be party or special event and end up turning into a tradition.

Photo of contributor and her mother with faces together and smiling at the camera

10. I’m proud of you — she always told us and it inspired me to always want to do more things to make her proud.

11. Visualize — she used to teach me and tell me to do this in my swimming. I think it’s the biggest lesson, because I’ve learned how to turn everything into something positive, even the most difficult hardships.

12. Belt it out in the car — this is just good for your soul (crying allowed too).

13. Nature is most healing and animals most giving. Nothing like being outdoors or at the ranch and taking care of your horse, or planting something that can feed your cows.

14. A smile can make a difference. It’s been my biggest testimony to smile, even while suffering.

Contributor as a young child being held by her mother, both with big smiles

Happy Mother’s Day to my mom, all the mothers of someone with a chronic illness and all the mothers who have chronic illness themselves.

Follow this journey on Chronic Pain Overcomer

Images via contributor

Originally published: May 5, 2021
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