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Chronic Illness and Your Relationships




Managing a chronic disease is difficult enough without trying to explain to people what you're feeling and what you're dealing with everyday.


It can be frustrating dealing with doctors who tell you that you shouldn't be feeling with what your feeling or being told that your symptom doesn't match with your diagnosis, so you'll need to see a different doctor to investigate it.


It's also difficult to explain to your loved ones why you can't participate in an event they planned, or you can't go over for supper because of the food restrictions you have.


Dealing with chronic illness or chronic pain can feel isolating and lonely even when you're surrounded by people who love you and what to understand what you're going through.


The thing is, they can't.


They can feel sympathetic, but the truth is, they will never completely understand what you're going through unless they have been through it themselves.


It's your job to understand this and learn to accept it.


Accepting the fact that no one, not your doctors, not your boyfriend, your husband, your wife, your mother, your kids, no one is going to understand how tired you are, how worn down you are, how your body is being challenged every moment of everyday. Only the people who have been living with health challenges themselves, may be able to understand.


But.....


Just because they can't understand doesn't mean they don't love you and want to be there for you in whatever way they can be.


Your relationships when your health is compromised are your life lines. They are your support and your joy.


When you separate yourself from those you love and who love you, it can create more problems and lead to other health issues.


Accepting that you may never fully understood can be a freeing thing.


I tried for years to explain to people why I was always cold (anemia), why I am always tired (high acidity in my blood), sore muscles and joint (ckd), and no one ever seemed to understand because they would comment and question me on it continually.


This used to bother me and I would get frustrated when my family would shake their heads and ask how I could possibly be cold when it wasn't cold outside. I would think, “Haven't I told you this a million times?”


I eventually let it go. It wasn't because they didn't care, it's because people are more wrapped up in their own lives than worried about yours.


They are not going to remember everything you tell them. It's even more difficult to think of you as 'sick' or unwell when you don't 'look' sick or unwell.


Most chronic diseases do not show through our physicality. They are invisible diseases that we can feel but no one else can see.


So, unless they are being constantly reminded of your limitations, they may not remember that you are struggling physically with your health.


Even though it feels like no one understands what you are going through, there are trained professionals who can help you manage your disease and help you live the most rewarding and normal life you can possibly live.


Even though times can be tough and you feel alone, just know what your mind tells you is not true.


You are never alone.


There are ways to deal with life's challenges and to deal with them internally is going to be your greatest strength.


I went into the coaching business because I knew that the only person who can change my attitude and changed how I looked at the world, was going to be me.


I was not prepared to live the rest of my life as a victim but an advocate for myself and others who were struggling with their health.


There are so many of us struggling alone when we don't have to.


They are so many resources and education out in the world now to help us take care of ourselves and become better instead of falling into the victim trap and risking our health to a greater degree.


If you need help or resources, don't hesitate to contact me or consult the list below of websites I have compiled below for those of you who are dealing with chronic kidney disease in particular.


XOXO Jenn








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