Did you sing Katy Perry this week as the fireworks launched up into the sky? I’m guilty because I totally belched this song out at the top of my lungs and then went oooooohhh aaaaahhhhh as the firework burst into mesmerizing colors. What can I say? Science just fascinates me. Or did you miss some of the show because you were managing a chronic illness? As summer flies by, have you been spending more time managing your illness or doing the enjoyable things?
Summer Bucket List
Have you just been out crushing your summer bucket list? Drive in movies, hiking, swimming, tubing, eating at yummy new restaurants, getting a tan, etc.? Well if you haven’t, you still have some time! July is now your month to begin crossing off your items! You need to start packing your schedule full of things to do on your days off. Here is my summer bucket list idea: go rent a truck, fill the bed full of blankets and pillows, and head to a drive-in movie! If you do this, please leave pictures in the comments because I will be needing inspiration of how to perfect the ideal truck bed for an outside movie.
Marking things off your list is hard when one person has a to bring medications with them. We have talked about medication management and organizational tools before, so I won’t ramble on about the benefits because you already know that having a routine increases likelihood of successfully taking your pills. Likewise, I won’t tell you tips or tricks for how to pack with medications because I already have a blog on that topic.
You’re probably thinking…. Okay, so is this girl ever going to tell me anything new?! Here it is: 6 in 10 people in America have chronic illnesses and 4 in 10 Americans have more than one.
Some chronic illnesses include heart disease, cancer, chronic lung disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, and chronic kidney disease. A chronic illness is an illness that lasts for longer than one year and needs ongoing medical attention.
Typically, the ongoing medical attention would be medication, appointment visits, and physical therapy in some situations. Of chronic illnesses, heart disease, cancer, and diabetes are the leading cause of death and disability in the United States. The tricky thing with chronic illnesses is that they most likely aren’t going to be cured, but they can be managed. Often times, especially with things like chronic pain, they are managed with medications.
Medication management is so hard when you just want to pick up and adventure. You can’t spontaneously run out of the house with your friend because you need to take serious precautions for your health. You know that you’ll need a pill case and a schedule (probably set an alarm too) to ensure that your health stays at its optimal state.
However, sometimes you need to put more effort into it than just medications. You may need to go Therapeutic Exercise, Physical Therapy, Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, and occasionally alternative medicine if none of the above works.
Therapeutic Exercise is when physicians monitor and give instructions on exercise components. The goal is to return the patient back to their original state without any pain. Similarly, Physical Therapy is when a patient is recovery from a bigger medical condition. Like cardiopulmonary, diabetes, orthopedic, etc.
Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy is a little different than the more physical therapies. It focuses on taking negative thought patterns and altering them into more positive ones to help decrease depression or anxiety.
Finding the tool that works best for you to manage your chronic illness can be frustrating. It’s full of a lot of trial and error and guessing until you begin to see results. Be patient.
In the mean time, reach out and let me know what your favorite summer activities are and how you prepare for them—with or without a chronic illness! As always, you know where to find me—in the comments, social medial, or email.
P.S. Listen to Katy Perry…. don’t let your illness hold you back. Be the firework that you are AND LET THOSE COLORS BURST!
Health and Economic Costs of Chronic Disease | CDC. (2019, February 11). Retrieved July 3, 2019, [Read More Here]
Healthwise Staff. (2018, June 3). Chronic Pain. Retrieved July 3, 2019, [Read More Here]