Do you know anyone with a chronic illness? You may without knowing it. Many people with a stubborn health condition might seem “normal,” but that’s only because you’re seeing them on a good day. They may be expending all their energy to function normally and, after you say your farewells, may be headed home for a long nap. And after they park in their driveway, it might take them ten minutes to conjure the energy to get inside. (Chronic illness may include chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, lyme disease, flaring autoimmune issues, thyroid disorders or many other long-term, highly-taxing conditions that haven’t yet been graced with a name and convenient code for insurance purposes.)
This list from Psychology Today of “3 Things the Chronically Ill Wish Their Loved Ones Knew” seems quite accurate. #4 is my addition.
…But first there should be a field-leveling perception adjuster: Everyone has bad days that can be characterized as exhausting. But if you’re relatively healthy, your experience of “worn treads” might be a good day for someone who’s not feeling well. You probably cannot relate to someone with chronic illness… and to compare your tired times to theirs is downright dismissive.
1) “The grief we feel over the life we’ve lost may re-emerge now and then…indefinitely.”
2) “We can feel as if we’re letting you down even though you’ve repeatedly told us that we’re not.”
3) “Being chronically ill can be embarrassing.”
4) “We may assume we’re not quite good enough in general and that other parts of our lives will fail, chronically.”
Many causes of chronic illness are missed by traditional healthcare providers. Nutrition and neurofeedback are two approaches offered at BuzzNutrition that can have huge impacts on both the body and mind. Acupuncture and massage are two other modalities to consider.