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Chronic Illness: Tips and Tricks

Chronic Illness: Tips and Tricks

Living with a chronic illness or two SUCKS. So here are some lessons I picked up along my journey!

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Once upon a time I was diagnosed with Interstitial Cystitis and Perioral Dermatitis–– two not so fun illnesses that changed my life forever. You can read my story here.

Yet here I am with good news! I was able to change my world and hold my chronic illnesses at bay.

How did I do it? Below are tips and tricks I’ve picked up along the way to a happy and healthy life!

1.) Stay Positive!

I can’t stress this enough. Without positivity there is a good chance you’ll slip into a negative attitude that does NOTHING for your body or mind. I know it’s easier said than done and you’re going to have really bad days, that is normal and totally understandable, which leads me to my second point…

2.) Self Care

If you are in a negative head space or feeling really bad, you need to focus on self care. Go for walk, snuggle with a pet, listen to music, do something–– anything–– you love that your body and mind can handle. If you take care of you, your body and mind will follow.

3.) Exercise

This one is tricky depending on your diagnosis. With my IC I can have days that make it hard for me to leave the bathroom, but I still try to move my body. That works for me and my lifestyle. If you struggle with this, talk to your doctor about alternatives or see if you can work with a professional to get yourself up and moving.

Our bodies are meant to move and if you are able, try to find some type of exercise that works for you. You will not only see your body become stronger but your mind and spirit will follow suit.

4.) Diet

Just like I stated above, this can be difficult depending on your illness. Make sure you are talking with your doctor about your diet and see if they have suggestions.

When I say diet, I’m not talking about fads–– those do not work! I am referring to a diet consisting of fruits, veggies, and lean meats.

I follow the IC diet suggested by my urologist. I used to be vegetarian, but that was not working with my illness. I had to reintroduce animal protein and cut things out that would cause me to flair up. After months of playing around with my diet, I saw improvement. Now I eat mostly veggies and fruits with lean meats plus I avoid soy, dairy, and gluten so my digestive track runs smoothly.

Talk with your doctor to find what can work for you!

5.) Medication

We live in a world that is trying to get you to pop ALL THE PILLS. Work with your doctor and find what you need and what you don’t. This takes time and an open minded professional, but they are out there! With my dermatitis, it took me several attempts with working with a dermatologist to find what worked. They wanted me to pop pills that did nothing for me but I eventually found someone that listened and worked with my skin–– not against it.

Be vocal about your concerns with medication and remember it is your right to fight to find solutions in and out of a pill bottle.

6.) Patience

Living with chronic illness is hard. There are good days and bad days. But focusing on yourself and staying positive will help turn the situation around. It’s also a long road to get to a place of health. Patience is key. I truly believe in, “This too shall pass.” Why? Because it always does and brighter days are always around the corner.

7.) Support

We are not islands. We are not supposed to be because we are wired to want to be with others, maybe not all the time, but enough where we feel connected to the world around us. Find your tribe, your squad, your family–– whatever! Let them love you and support you through this time in your life.

8.) Love

At the end of the day all we have is our body, our mind, our heart, and our spirit. Love it all with all you have because even if its the worse day, its yours and you’re only given one life. Besides, haven’t you heard? Love can move mountains! 

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