Friendships and other relationships drastically change once you have been diagnosed with a chronic illness. You probably are no longer physically able to spend as much time with friends as you used to, especially when most of the activities you participated in before were tiring. As a results, friends that never made a huge effort in your life before quickly stopping keeping in touch. This is because those friendships suddenly required more effort and for those people to actually be proactive, by picking up the phone or coming over, for example.
It is a painful process of losing people but the more your health worsens, the more people you lose. But you also get to choose which relationships to end as well. Some people weren’t the greatest friends to start with and being sick has allowed you to see your life through a new and different perspective.
You now choose a calm, positive and healthy environment where stress is at a minimum rather than dealing with trivial events, petty concerns and fake people. You are trying to create a healthy lifestyle despite the suffering that chronic illness and pain has brought to your life. And that means being proactive about who you surround yourself with.
Remember this is your life. You are the one is who is sick and it is up to you to shape relationships in the way that works for your health and to control the factors that you can control. Cherish the people that stick around and stop by to help out and who keep inviting you even though you decline their invites.
For the people who stick around, it definitely isn’t easy and there are expectations of all parties involved. And chronic illness means continuous change so loved ones need our help in how to best help and what expectations we have.
Read more about taking the responsibility to stay connected with chronic illness at: http://www.arthritisconnect.com/arthritis-articles/478-staying-connected-with-arthritis#L6Z8DA25CrkYr4Rx.97
There are many things a chronically ill person wants their loved ones to know but are hesitant to share.
Chronic illnesses are debilitating and strike people of all ages and sexes. Loved ones are confused on how to offer help and support while chronically ill patients struggle with sharing feelings. There are many things a chronically ill person wants their loved ones to know but are hesitant to share.
Here are nine things chronically ill people want their loved ones to know:
1. Our Grief is Ongoing
Angie, age 17: “I wish my parents understood that my grief over my health is reoccurring. It is gone sometimes but it always returns.”
Before getting sick, you don’t know the ongoing struggles that force you to continually grieve. And there is a lot to grieve over. You are not as productive as you once were. You have lost friends, the ability to take part in your favorite activities and your independence. Grief comes in waves and sometimes, out of the blue. One minute, you are accepting the changes and challenges that chronic illness brings to your life and the next you are overcome with sadness or anger.
Chronic illnesses are most common in adults but they affect people of all ages — including children.
Seven percent of American children today live with at least one chronic illness. That number is a significant increase from 1.8 percent in the 1960s, this according to theNational Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.
Raising a child with a chronic illness affects the entire family. Parents may feel guilt and anger while siblings may feel neglected. Depending on the illness, a sick child may experience symptoms of discomfort and pain. Moreover, treatments for the illness may be scary, painful and uncomfortable. Parents may also struggle with watching their child being sick and in distress. Further, illness strains finances and demands time, energy and resources.
How to maintain a successful relationships with family members and friends
The Institute of Medicine reports that 100 million Americans suffer from conditions that result in chronic pain. Chronic pain conditions are often difficult to diagnose and treat because each person’s pain is unique.
Communication becomes vital to achieving and maintaining successful relationships with family members and friends for patients living with pain. This isn’t always easy because, often times, patients struggle to find the necessary dialogue to describe pain and feelings while loved ones struggle with their reactions.
Communication, or the lack of it, stands out for many living with chronic illness and pain and for their loved ones. It is an issue that causes frustration for all parties and people with chronic illness and pain communicate differently than those who aren’t sick.
There is a reluctance to communicate physical and emotional symptoms. Further, chronically ill people often say they are feeling “well” or “okay” despite the fact they are hurting. Sometimes, there is no way to describe how someone is feeling and other times, the chronically ill person just wants to be left alone. These obstacles are challenging and result in the breakdown in communication.
Communicating with a Loved One in Pain
People who live with pain do best when loved ones express concern for their hurting and offer support that is genuinely needed. Here are five ways you can communicate concern and support.