Saturday, 13 April 2013

The Stress of Living with a Chronic Illness

lupus.cheezburger.com
As I write this, I realise I still have to catch up on doing dishes, the dog needs a bath, I haven't finished
writing a church service for Sunday, and there's other housework to do, and I'm supposed to do some yoga or some other exercise to try to keep everything moving, and I'm just too tired for any of it.

That last one is the problem.  I'm just too tired. Sometimes, I'm just too sore. Sometimes, it's both.

Whatever it is, I get behind on things that wouldn't be an issue for a healthy person. When I have to ration out my energy, it becomes a problem when I get behind, because catching up takes a lot more out of me than it would a healthy person. So I just get behinder and behinderer (those are real words, I promise they are.)

Another stress is financial. I often can't work at all, and when I can, it's only very, very part-time. That means limited money. Sometimes the basics of survival have cost more than my income (one of the big reasons for my latest move of house was that my rent had increased to the point where it cost more than my income) which has meant a steadily-growing debt, and an inadequate means to service the debt.

And then there's the biggest cause of stress of them all: what will lupus do to me?  There's always going to be anxiety about what the next surprise lupus will throw at me will be.  There's so many things it can decide to do for no apparent reason.  I live in fear of becoming a burden on my kids.

Everyone who lives with a chronic illness lives with some degree of stress. A lot of the choices healthy people have about how they will live their lives, are just far more limited for us. We get into difficult financial or living situations because of our conditions. Sometimes we get brain fog and can't even think straight (a real trauma for an intelligent, educated person.) And we all know that whatever our chronic conditions are doing to us, things could always get worse.

This post written as part of Patients for a Moment Blog Carnival, which this month is being hosted by Selina at Oh My Aches and Pains.

2 comments:

  1. I do have thoughts of becoming a burden for my family and that will cause anxiety. The stress that occur daily can become over whelming if I allow it so I find that I try to find balance by staying rooted and grounded in the word of God. Sometimes that's easier said than done.....

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  2. I hear you. I quit working in 2011 because it was just so overwhelming. My quality of work was suffering. And to top it off, my supervisor advised me that "I should re-evaluate if this job was the right fit for me"!
    I'm fortunate that my husband and son are very supportive of my decision. But the stress of worrying what 'to do next' has been resting on my mind lately.
    I wish you the very best. Thanks for sharing your journey with us.

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