10 Tips for a ‘Common Sense Approach’ to Life With a Chronic Illness


Use Trusted Sources for Information
Dr. Google is notoriously wrong, as are most of your well-meaning colleagues and friends. Use trusted sources for information regarding your chronic illness. Non-profit organizations are great places to find accurate and up-to-date information. Your healthcare team is also a phone call away if you have any questions that need to be answered.

Get the Most Out of Your Appointments
Often, particularly when you’re first diagnosed, there is a lot of information to process. Taking notes when you meet your healthcare team will help you to remember all that you’ve been told. Also, preparing a list of questions before you go to your appointments will ensure that you don’t forget anything important while you’re there. Take a friend or family member along for support — they’ll often think of things you may miss.

Have Faith in Yourself
You may think that the journey you’re about to embark on will be too difficult or that you won’t be able to keep up with the treatments. Have faith in yourself — you are stronger than you realize. In the beginning, there will be many changes, but life will soon settle into a new normal and you’ll be surprised at how well you’re handling things.

Ask for Help
Don’t be too afraid or too proud to ask for help. Family and friends will want to help you out in any way they can, just as you would if the roles were reversed. Focus on your health and staying well, and allow others to do things for you. If you require financial aid or help to procure necessary equipment, non-profit organizations are a great place to start. Local volunteer groups can offer caregiving help as well as help around the house and garden.

MORE: 10 benefits of having a service or therapy dog when you have MS

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