Stage One – Denial
If you’ve just been diagnosed with a chronic illness and you’ve been told it is not going away this is now apart of who you are. The first stage, people typically go through is denial. People think that if they just go to their medical doctor and get the medications, they will be fine. Medications might be helpful and sometimes crucial for people, but this is not an anti-medication issue. Medications can help to decrease symptoms of some chronic illnesses, but they can’t make you healthier.
As you take the medication, the underlying problems continue because medical doctors rarely address the underlying cause of disease. Being on medication without making any lifestyle changes just means you will continue to progressively get sicker. Your body will continue to breakdown from the dysfunction.
Medication Doesn’t Give You Your Health Back
Once the medical approach plateaus, most people start turning to alternative health treatments. These are the lifestyle changes that can help get them back to the dynamic, lively person they were before they got diagnosed with a chronic condition. Part of moving forward with a chronic disease is accepting that the person you once were is not coming back with the same level of carefree that you had.
As you figure out how these lifestyle pieces matter to you, you’ll realize you don’t have the freedom that you once had. For example, before I found out I was autoimmune thyroid, I prided myself in the fact that I could find food anywhere. I could just get in my car and drive and stop where ever I wanted and find convenient, tasty food. That freedom that I once had was gone the second I found out about my autoimmune disease.
You Always Have A Choice
However, in return for giving up that freedom and choosing to put time and energy into my food I now have the energy to do the things that I want to do in life and not be stopped by my autoimmune disease. Once you get a chronic illness, you will come to understand that you can’t have both freedoms anymore. It’s impossible to ignore your bodies physiological needs and expect to have still the energy and mental clarity to get stuff done.
The reality is when you are diagnosed with a chronic condition, you ALWAYS have a choice. You can choose to take the medication to mitigate the symptoms and continue to live life how you always have. The catch is you have to accept that your condition will get worse with time. Or you can choose to make the sometimes painful and challenging lifestyle changes necessary. By addressing the CAUSE of your disease you’ll be able to live your life with the energy and liveliness you once had.
Ultimately, how to handle a chronic illness diagnosis is giving up the part of us that we thought defined us. Make peace with the lifestyle changes that allow you to live a great life with a health condition.
If you have just been diagnosed with a chronic illness or been struggling with health issues for a while, and you’re ready to make the necessary changes to live a vibrant life my Vitality Restoration Program may be for you.
Here’s To A Better Life,
Dr. Steve Puckette