5 Tips to manage a chronic disease

healthcareOur health and wellbeing are the foundation to lead a fulfilling and happy life, but what are the options for those of us who have already been diagnosed with a chronic disease? Are there any ways to make things easier and increase the quality of life? In this case, the keyword is planning. As long as you stick to a definite schedule, diet, and medication plan you and your family can successfully manage the situation. Here are some tips on living with a chronic condition such as diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, arthritis or asthma.

Identify and educate your tribe

A chronic disease doesn’t only affect you, but everyone in your household and around you (friends, co-workers). Although it is hard, the best policy is to inform them about your condition and educate them about the ways they could help you. Share your do’s and don’ts with them, never assume they know what is best for you.

Identify among your friends and loved ones a strong support network and delegate tasks accordingly. Kindly ask them to remind you about taking your treatment or engaging you in activities that have a positive effect like walking or swimming. Sometimes even having someone listen to you and tell you of your blessings is great.

Manage finances

There is no doubt that a chronic condition can take a toll on the family’s budget, even if the patient is insured. Discuss this problem with your family and make medical spending a priority, by adequately acknowledging the spending in your monthly budget. Failing to pay medical bills can be the starting point of a downward spiral of debt and bad credit score.

If you were overwhelmed by the disease and had missed some payments, you should ask yourself how long do medical collections stay on my credit report? Take advantage of the latest legislative changes,and maybe you can get some of them erased if they haven’t been delinquent for more than six months.

Build a relationship with medical professionals

The manifestations of your disease can be very different from one day to the other,and you should be able to ask for certified help. Not all changes are something to worry about, but ignoring specific signs could lead to a fast aggravation.

Ask your doctor for a number on which you can call for emergencies, get in touch with a registered nurse for less severe problems and even get your doctor to recommend you to a colleague for when they are away.

Identify and respect your limits

Living with a chronic disease can take its toll on your body if you don’t pay attention to early signs and are not aware of your limits. Even simple tasks can be exhausting and mental fatigue is a real danger. The best strategy is to test your new limits and act accordingly. Don’t withdraw entirely from life and aim for a healthy ratio of work, leisure,and sport. Prioritize sleep to reduce pain and get more energy.

Practice journaling and gratitude

Living with a chronic disease is a journey.  Why not take some notes along the way? Writing about your joys can inspire you when you feel down,and it could encourage others who are just starting their own journey to find the guidance and the help they need so much.