It has been quite some time since I posted my last blog. I have written on the subjects of the pain of racism, the pain of bullying and, now, I am posting a blog on the subject of the emotional pain of illness. Each one of these topics has touched upon my life and experiences and my absence from the submission of my blogs is significantly related to my own experience with illness. I do so wish to share these personal events with all of my readers and, perhaps, provide much information and coping skills for both the victim of an illness as well as the family and friends of a patient.
My personal revelation involves emergency surgery due to acute hemorrhaging attributed to radiation cancer treatment years ago. My bladder was the site of this traumatizing event and, due to the extent of radiation damage, this organ is significantly destroyed. I now must live with a chronic disease and, as documented in the following research, I do need to practice what I preach as a clinical psychologist.
Distress is quite common following a chronic disease diagnosis. Research indicates that people who are experiencing a number of stressful life events and processing the news of a diagnosis can experience a flood of emotions. Grief is a common reaction with various stages of denial, bargaining and sadness.One may feel that they are on an emotional roller coaster but this experience is quite normal and will ease with time. Facing your diagnosis is the only way to cope with illness. Knowledge is power and bringing with you a comprehensive list of questions and concerns to your doctor is an excellent strategy in coping will illness and providing one with feelings of empowerment.
It is important to surround yourself with positive and supportive people who can assist you in managing your disease. Accompanying you to medical appointments and being a second pair of ears with additional questions for the doctor is a relevant request for those who are assisting you. If there are children ( youngsters or young adults) in the family, it is advised that you should be honest but not too graphic about the disease. Fear of the unknown does provoke much fear and anxiety within a family.
In my next post, I will expand on this topic and provide additional strategies in coping with the emotional and physical pain of illness.
Please do let us hear what your feelings are about this latest topic.