Living with a Chronic Health Issue
I have joined the ranks of those who live with a chronic health issue. I surely did not see it coming as I truly manage and monitor my health quite closely. I try to follow all the rules for good health, but sometimes things beyond our control come into our lives that changes our health status. And this is when the hard work begins.
It is not important to share the exact details of what I am dealing with, but for those who do have a nagging or chronic health issue… you know what I am talking about. Luckily my issue is more of an annoyance rather than debilitating!
It just landed in my Life!
Here is how I see it. We have choices.
- One choice is to find out as much as we can about our issue. Yes, that means scouring the internet for the worse case scenarios that get us all worried and afraid. Or finding testimonials from those who recovered that bring us hope. Or even finding support groups for those in the battle of trying to overcome it. All of these are active quests for resolution, or in the least… some comfort knowing we are not alone. I have been there. I have done that.
- We also have the choice to get a second, third or even fourth opinion in hopes that someone else has a different perspective on the issue that will help make it all go away. Those endless doctor visits, potions, pills and procedures can lead us to a cure, or can have us going in full circles over and over again. I have been there. I have done that.
- We can share with others our worries, our angst and our frustrations. I find this is a delicate tightrope to walk because we can get into the mode of having our “issue” be the center of attention in our conversations. I have worked hard to steer away from this option. But, I do have a few close confidantes that are with me on my journey that I can reach out to at any time for moral support.
- Another tempting choice that calls to each and every one of us that is dealing with a chronic health issue is to throw in the towel. Yes, throw caution to the wind! Ignore all the self-care instructions and participate in the aggravating activities that we know trigger our condition. We say “What the heck.. we only live once. I am going to deny I have this xyz thing and just live my life!” Now, I am one for believing in mind over matter, but sometimes that just doesn’t work. So, I have been in this place, and I have participated in those aggravating activities. I get it!
- The choice I choose most often is to accept the new reality of having this issue be a part of my life’s journey. Yes, I do hope I will find meaning behind it all. And yes, I do hope I have that ah-ha moment that makes me realize its purpose so that it can gracefully exit. But, I no longer seek the timeframe for that to happen. I am putting my trust in something greater than me and living every day with joy and gratitude! This is where I am, and this is where I want to stay.
I always try to remind myself that growing older is a gift and a reward. We will never be the same youthful person we were decades ago, and that is how the journey of life is meant to be.
I will leave you with one parting thought... this is one that humbles me and makes me nod in agreement. If we all put our “issues” into a circle and we can pull out whichever one we wanted, we most likely will reach for our own. Remember, many of us are dealing with issues, let us live in compassion and grace for all us aging beings.
Sherry Zak Morris
Founder, Yoga Vista