For many, being diagnosed with a long-term illness or disability might seem like the ultimate death sentence. And that is even if the health condition won’t necessarily prove to be fatal! Some people get so upset and disheartened by a diagnosis, that they can’t help but see it as a completely negative development in their life. Sure, it might mean that you now suffer with symptoms that can reduce your mobility or cause some other physical ailments, but that’s no reason to get so down in the dumps. There will be lots of medication and treatment that will make the symptoms much easier to live with on a day to day basis.
A diagnosis doesn’t have to be the end, even if you are diagnosed with a chronic or long-term health condition. In actual fact, many people manage to turn it into a completely new beginning. They are able to take all the negative energy that they feel and turn it into something completely positive. This can help them to sustain and protect their mental health, as well as improving their symptoms. Not only that, though, but it’s possible to do a lot of good for the wider community that also suffer from this illness.
Not ready to let your diagnosis win just yet? Here are some ways you can turn it into a positive and create a whole new beginning out of it.
Get Fit And Active
Your doctors and nurses will probably have already told you that it is really important to try and stay as fit and active as you possibly can with your health condition. This is incredibly true as staying fit can help to alleviate a wide range of symptoms. That’s not all, though, as a good level of fitness will help your body stay strong, which can help it fight back against the illness. Don’t worry if your health condition causes you to have limited mobility – there will still be some great ways you can stay fit and healthy. In fact, most exercises can be adapted for those who struggle to move around and have trouble with flexibility. If you aren’t really sure how you can exercise safely with your condition or disability, it’s always worth speaking to your doctor or healthcare specialist about this. They might even be able to point you in the direction of a fitness group that focuses on people with similar health problems to you, so you can all get fit together!
One way you can turn your diagnosis into a huge positive is to start fundraising. I’m sure that there are lots of charities and other organizations that will work to support patients with your illness. As they are independent charities, they won’t receive a lot of government funding and support. As a result, they will continually try to raise as much finance as possible so that they can keep up with their good work. This ensures that people who are living with a health condition always have a professional group who they can turn to for health and support. Many people who have an illness or are directly linked to a sufferer often take part in fundraising to help support these charities. Does that sound like something you’d like to do? There are various things you can do to help. If you are able to, you might like to take part in a big challenge such as running a half marathon or marathon. If you aren’t up to that kind of physical stress, you could simply organize a bake sale or garage sale in which all profits go to your charity of choice.
Be Active In Beating Stigmas
There are some illnesses and health conditions which, unfortunately, have been linked to some negative stereotypes and stigmas. For instance, as many smokers develop lung cancer, this particular type of cancer is often looked down upon by some of the public. That’s because they believe that it is a disease that people cause themselves. Other illnesses, such as HIV and AIDS have much worse stigmas attached to them. However, no disease or illness should be negatively seen by the public, as there is never just one way of catching or developing it. Thankfully, there are now lots of people putting a lot of good work into fighting these negative believes about a wide range of health conditions. If you are diagnosed with one that is shrouded in stigma, you might like to join these groups in fighting stereotypes. That way, you and people in a similar health situation to you, don’t have to deal with people acting strangely or thinking poorly of you as you try and get back on track to better health.
Work With Other Sufferers
Being diagnosed with a chronic or long-term health condition could be quite lonely and isolating. That’s because no one around you will know quite what you are going through exactly, even those family members who are close to you. But that doesn’t mean you need to feel so lonely most of the time. There are places you can go to find people who are suffering from the same condition as you. And the best place to turn is your local support group. There are lots of weekly groups that meet to discuss various coping strategies and new medications. It’s a great place to meet new people who will know exactly what you are going through. You’ll also have lots of chances to swap stories and share helpful tips and advice. For instance, if you join a mesothelioma group, you will be able to learn additional facts from surviving mesothelioma from the other group members. There are also some health experts who work closely with these kinds of groups, so you might even be able to get some professional tips to ease your various symptoms as well. But don’t think that you can replace your regular hospital appointments with these group meetings – it is also important that you see your doctor on as often as possible as well.
Volunteer At Your Support Group
Once you have been going to your local support group for a few months, you will get to know all the other attendees and will have a good insight into how things work. If you want, you could always volunteer to help out at the group meetings. There will be lots that goes into running these groups, and most groups could always use some helping hands. You will be able to give as much or as little of your time as you want. For instance, maybe you only have enough time to get there slightly early to help put all the chairs out. Or, if you want to really become a pillar of support and help in your local disabled community, you could start to lead some of the meetings.
Spread Knowledge And Raise Awareness
Most support groups don’t just exist to offer help to patients and sufferers. They also do a lot of work in spreading knowledge and awareness of the particular health condition within the wider community. This is especially important for people who have very limited mobility and are confined to wheelchairs. Getting out there and letting people know how they can help wheelchair users when out in public can help improve things for the disabled community. Plus, it encourages lots of shops, restaurants, and other business to adapt their stores so that they are a lot more accessible for wheelchair users and other disabled customers. Getting out there and letting people know what they can do is a great way of making things easier for everyone who suffers with the same health condition as you. Not only that, though,but it could also encourage more members of the public to get out there and start fundraising!
Document Your Life With The Illness
Some people find that documenting their life after being diagnosed with a chronic or long-term illness can help them come to terms with it. It can do a lot more good as well. For example, it can help to spread more awareness of the illness, and it can also connect you to others from around the world who suffer from the same conditions that you do. There are various ways you can document your life and put your story out there. One of the easiest and cheapest things you can do is start a blog. You just need to sign up to Squarespace, WordPress, or another blog-hosting platform and start writing your posts and articles. You can then use social media to spread the word. If you have a bit of money to invest in camera equipment, you might want to think about starting a YouTube channel as well. Lots of bloggers are now moving to video formats on YouTube because they can give a clearer view of what living with an illness or disability can be like. Plus, you might be able to cash in on video advertisements if you get a big enough audience!
As you can see, there are many ways you can turn your diagnosis into an exciting beginning!