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HOPE

Posted on June 19, 2013 at 10:42 PM Comments comments (0)
It's hard to live in a daily state of unwell. Sometimes the best comfort comes not from pills but from people.  Make every effort to surround yourself with the right type of people!  You know the kind I mean....the ones that aren't afraid to hear about your aches/pains, the ones that can laugh with you one moment and cry with you the next!  

Even during the moments you're feeling well, someone who lives with a chronic illness can feel it looming.  The pill bottles are staring at you, the machines are in the corner of the room, the doctors appointments are on the calendar.  But still, you're LIFE goes on!  And it goes on well and healthy and happy!  You're healthy may look different than someone else's happy......isn't that part of what makes us unique, wonderful individuals?!  

Your unique experiences have made you who you are - good, bad and indifferent!  How do we embrace those experiences, forgive ourselves, forgive others, accept our present as a new opportunity, grieve what we have lost?  

LIFE blooms through chronic illness;  HOPE is ever present as each day provides new opportunity for healing emotionally and physically;  HOPE is redefining oneself;  HOPE is knowing there is a brighter tomorrow;  HOPE is acceptance;  HOPE is love;  HOPE is........

What hope means

Hope is bright shining light which keeps darkness at the bay
Hope is gentle cold breeze on a hot summer day

Hope is to remain positive when going gets tough
hope is seeking more when others think u had enough

What hope means

Hope is dreaming of tommorow
Hope is simmering under sorrow

Hope is sparkles when tears in our eyes
Hope is a beautiful thing & beutiful things never dies

What hope means

Hope is as light as a feather
Hope keeps all of us together

Hope is ubiquitous and free of cost
hope is the last thing ever lost..... 

Vineet Bansal

But she doesn't look sick

Posted on May 5, 2013 at 8:56 PM Comments comments (2)
But she doesn't look sick?!  Have you ever used your handicapped parking sign and gotten "those looks".  Like we should be able to spot a mile away who is sick enough to be able to use a handicapped sign.  

Here's the startling reality folks, the majority of chronically ill people look just like you and I.  In fact, sometimes they are the images we strive to become.  How often have you seen a person on the street or on the beach and thought "how do they stay so thin?"?  Consider the possibility they stay thin due to their illness, despite their daily efforts to gain weight.

Remember the age old saying, Don't judge a book by its cover?  The simple fact is, you just never know what someone else is going through even if they look "normal"!  Increased awareness of chronic illness is so important; as a society, we need to stop making assumptions on what is only skin deep.  The physical and emotional sides of chronic illness speak volumes - way more than the skinny girl on the beach or the seemingly healthy guy who just parked in the handicapped spot at the mall!

Some suggestions for remaining open minded: 
  • Ask someone "how are you" and take a minute to really hear their answer
  • Make no assumptions!!
  • Recognize there are many different reasons for an individuals appearance/presentation
  • Talk with someone living with chronic illness - take a moment to "walk in their shoes"
  • Honest compassion, friendship and support helps!  Pity does not......offer your love and support as often as you can, even in the smallest of gestures 


Speaking in code

Posted on April 27, 2013 at 1:30 PM Comments comments (1)
How are you doing today?  We all hear that question repeated throughout the day.  What's the typical response?  "I'm good. You?".  

Now say you haven't been feeling well or you just had surgery and someone asks how you're doing.  You may respond a bit more honestly telling them about your discomfort.  "I feel awful.  It hurts just to get out of bed.  I've never felt like this before."  Now, imagine that discomfort, multiply it by 10, add a dozen or more pills and daily treatments and you'll begin to understand a little about what life is like with chronic illness.  

The illustration here  helps to give some insight into the daily struggles of those who live with chronic illness/chronic pain everyday.  They tend to speak in a code, a secret language that only those who are very close to them can begin to understand.  I heard someone just the other day refer to this type of smile as a plastic smile.  A smile we plaster onto our faces despite how we're feeling and continue on. 

Do not assume your loved one is not experiencing pain when they say that they are fine.  They're constantly struggling with living a "normal" life and keeping their suffering private, in part due to the lack of understanding in others or not wanting to burden others. It's difficult to find the right words to describe their pain, both physical and emotional.  

Speaking from personal experience with chronic illness, it's vital to have friends who can laugh with you one moment and cry with you the next!  Chronic illness, if nothing else, is unpredictable and the relationships you build along the way are so very important!  More on the role of the caregiver and social support next time.......

 

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