Friends come and go in all walks of life, seemingly more quickly when you have a chronic illness. Leading to friendships that will indeed be life long.
If I were to ask anyone who lives with a chronic health issue to make a list of places that they try to AVOID AT ALL COSTS, I believe could safely bet my monthly salary that their local EMERGENCY ROOM would be at the top that list. Not only because of the absurdly long wait times, and the potential exposure to who knows what kind of disgusting germs that could be floating around. But throughout this article I think you will find help with the ten tips I provide to make your next Emergency Room visit run a little smoother.
Chances are high that if you have a friend or family member who lives with a chronic illness, or was recently diagnosed, that you don’t really know what you can do to help. This is not meant to be a dig towards you by any means. But most able-bodied people struggle because they don’t really know what to say or do. They feel this way because they can’t really relate to what we are feeling. They can’t relate to the chronic pain, or life altering fatigue. In fact, they often wonder if there is actually anything that they could say or do that would make any difference. They fear hurting their friend or family member so they pull away. This is not deliberate, but it is a reflex. So this is an effort to share some tips and ideas to help prevent that and help friends, family, and those with the chronic illness.
No matter how much support you have or how together you think you are not immune to bouts of depression. No matter how much money you make or if you have the “perfect job” you can still fall victim. It doesn’t matter if you are white, black, green or purple, depression doesn’t discriminate. None of the things mentioned matter. You may feel that you have given yourself all the tools one will need and that you know what to watch for and what to do when it happens. But chances are that’s not the truth. Because depression is sneaky, it sneaks in when you least expect it and stays longer than any unwanted house guest ever would. You can have all the tools available and ready to combat the arrival, but when it sneaks in sometimes it’s hard to realize how bad things are until you’re in to deep to fix things on your own.
It’s been months…….maybe years. You’ve been suffering alone because no one understands what’s been going on. The doctors have been shuffling you back and forth because they don’t know what to do with you. You’ve heard “Well…..maybe it could be this. Or it could be that!” However they are really just grasping at straws and making guesses because no one really has any concrete idea. Until you finally come in contact with that ONE doctor who follows that ONE path and found you a DIAGNOSIS! Which feels like you won the lottery for a bit. But now what??
The last two months have probably been some of the hardest months I’ve had since this crazy journey started. I’ve been in more pain and for longer than I ever thought possible. I have said too many times lately but I feel like if it has a name it has probably hurt at some point. Literally everything has hurt from the big things like my back and hips, to the smaller things like my hands and fingers. There has even been time when my HAIR and SKIN hurt.
Sadly over the last few years I have spent many nights in the hospital. I even took a week long trip to Mayo Clinic In Minnesota, and have had a couple overnight trips for treatment. Thankfully, it’s been awhile and I hope I don’t jinx myself by sharing all of this. That being said I was cleaning out my bag and thought I would share.