Living with a Chronic Disease

Here are my top tips for learning to live with Endometriosis & Adenomyosis

1) Accept that you have the disease

Acceptance is not about giving up but recognising that you may need to do things differently than you have done in the past. Its taken a long while for me to get to this point. But I don't think I fully appreciated the impact it was going to have on my life until more recent times. When my Gynae used to ask me how many days off work I was having due to the pain, I used to always say none, I won't let it stop me. But more and more, I have to accept that it is stopping me and those days do happen. Once you have acceptance, you can move on to learning to live with the pain.

2) Build a Support Team

An important part of the journey is allowing yourself to get both help and support from others. This has been vital to me. I never wanted to put my "situation" on anyone else. After all, it effects me, it doesn't have to do the same to them. But recently I have started talking more openly about my circumstances in a public forum. And although I felt embarrassed initially, it has helped. Talking is good! I have mentioned my friends and family in many of my posts. They really are my rocks.

3) Learn to pace yourself

I'm sure all of us have things we want to do and sometimes we have the tendency to rush to get things done. Take your time. There are plenty of hours in the day, week, month, year! Sometimes we have to let our bodies take that afternoon nap, or take that extra 30 minutes to complete a task. You have time, so use it.

4) Set Goals

Make a list of things you would like to do but remember to be flexible. We can't tell when a flare up will occur. Make a list of exciting places you want to visit, or jobs you want to complete. I find having something to look forward to really gets me through the tough days.

5) Be patient with yourself

This links in with the above. You're not a super human (although you might like to think you are). The bad days will happen and they will knock you down. But you will get back up again. Don't write yourself off just because you have a chronic illness. Patience is key.

6) Keep active! Exercise.

I love going to the gym. Sometimes my body doesn't let me but on the days it does, damn does it feel good. Exercise releases those happy hormones. Not only are you keeping healthy, it makes you feel like you've achieved something with the day too.

7) And most of all, LOVE YOURSELF!

The most important of all. Its very easy to be in the mind set of why me?! Why did I get this disease? Why are others able to live a pain free life? After all, you didn't ask for this. But the fact is, you do have it and this is your life. And you still have exactly that, life! This disease doesn't take away who you are. You can still see the world if you want to. You can still achieve the goals you've set. And your family and friends still love you regardless of your illness. So love yourself. You deserve to.

A x

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