Do you need a refresher on the management of a chronic disease?

Individuals faced with a new diagnosis, or those in the midst of a flare-up, may find these points from our support groups useful.

Medically Speaking

□ consult appropriate medical professionals
□ learn about your condition
□ understand how the medications you’re prescribed work
□ take all your medication according to the physicians’ instructions
□ find out if there are any differences between the generic and name brand versions of the medicines you’re taking
□ speak to your pharmacist about medication interactions and contraindications

Diet and Lifestyle

□ exercise when you are feeling well, but make sure your physician approves of your plans
□ gain nutritional fitness by eating healthily
□ consult a registered dietitian if you have dietary limitations
□ understand the benefits of vitamins and supplements
□ learn the ‘pros’ and ‘cons’ of foods that may affect your condition
□ get enough sleep
□ maintain your general wellness – heart health, bone health, eye health, etc.

The World Around You

□ think about how your condition affects your education, training, and ability to earn an income
□ consider the impact of your condition on current and future employment
□ prepare fully for physician appointments, use good communication skills
□ approach the Internet with caution in your research, not everything you read there is good advice
□ plan ahead for managing social invitations and special occasions, so you can make the best of these outings
□ educate those around you about your condition

Emotional Wellness

□ take steps to ensure that your situation doesn’t leave you isolated
□ monitor the psychological impact of your condition on yourself and watch for depression
□ use, and actively expand, the support network of your family, friends, and spiritual leaders
□ attend a support group, bring a friend, receive and give support
□ minimize your stress levels
□ relax through music, meditation, yoga, walking, praying, sitting on a park bench, or anything else you find pleasurable
□ take that vacation
□ have fun always, live in the moment
□ remember to seize the day when feeling well!

First published in the Inside Tract® newsletter issue 169 – 2008