Thursday, July 18, 2024

How ‘Wellness’ can go hand-in-hand with a Chronic Disease

Even though modern medicine has come a long way, there are still many conditions that can’t be fixed with just medicine. An advanced or terminal illness is an apparently incurable, life-limiting condition that is likely to cause a person of any age to suffer till death or die within days, weeks, months, or sometimes within a year. If you have an illness that cannot be cured completely and is chronic, the focus of care will shift from aiming to cure to ensuring that you have the best possible quality of life. This requires a focus on the control of the symptoms, along with emotional, spiritual, and cultural well-being, and planning for the future. But cooperation and strong support from family members and friends are a must for these.

Some of the common medical conditions that have fewer chances of being permanently cured with the help of medication include cancer at later stages, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, advanced lung, heart, kidney, and liver disease, stroke and other neurological diseases, epilepsy, motor neuron disease, multiple sclerosis (abnormal hardening of certain body tissues), Huntington’s disease (a rare, inherited disease that causes the advanced degeneration of nerve cells in the brain), muscular dystrophy (a group of genetic diseases that cause serious weakness and loss of the muscles), HIV/AIDS, and other deteriorating conditions related to aging.

Medical conditions such as diabetes, asthma, thyroid problems, Alzheimer’s, and other forms of dementia cannot be completely cured by conventional medicine, but they can be managed with the help of medication and other methods. However, many ailments may be curable through alternative forms of treatments such as homeopathy, Ayurveda, meditation, physical exercise, yoga, traveling, spending time with people that you love to be with, making little goals and trying to achieve those with dedication, practicing hobbies, and having faith in the healing process.

Here are some ways in which you can bring wellness to your life while having a chronic or incurable disease:

  • Be knowledgeable enough

Knowledge about the disease helps you determine the best course of action, like finding the best doctors and treatments for your condition. You can do research, know the general diagnosis, and reach out to find other people with similar conditions. Look for alternative forms of treatment rather than limiting yourself to conventional medicine.

  • Live for today

It is best to not think about the future all the time. One should focus on the present and live in the moment. The longer one lives, the more likely that better treatments will develop. One should not lose hope and learn to manage their fear.

  • Stop comparison

Comparing your health to that of another may only make you feel bad about yourself. Remembering what activities you used to be able to do before, you will be having a feeling of loss and reflecting on how different you are now from your former self.

  • Ask for help

Whenever help is needed, don’t hesitate to ask, explain, and sometimes even demand help. No one is prepared for an incurable disease. That’s why the burden becomes heavier. It’s okay to not be able to carry the burden all by yourself and ask for help.

  • Go for the hobbies or activities that make you feel good

It can be hard to stay positive when you are spending most of your time dealing with symptoms or running to doctor’s appointments. On your better days during the disease, you can do anything that makes you smile.

One should keep their positive thinking alive when they are suffering from a chronic or incurable disease. However, “toxic positivity” is also not good. We live in a culture of unreasonable positivity. Putting on a happy face and presenting a joyful outlook to the world, even when going through a really tough time, is appreciated. In our culture, people who go through hard times with a smile are praised for their courage. Conversely, people who express their feelings of fear, sadness, depression, frustration, anger, or grief — which are very normal parts of the human experience – often get comments that seem positive but actually hurt because the other person is not actually understanding the emotional situation of the sufferer. Toxic positivity is a concept that says that no matter how difficult a situation is, people should maintain a positive mindset. While there are benefits to being optimistic and engaging in positive thinking, toxic positivity discards all difficult emotions, and this is harmful.

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