Breaking the Rules of Being a Chronic Illness Patient: Attitude, Ability and Advocacy

And... mic drop!

In my new article for HealthCentral, I get the teensiest bit opinionated about how breaking the rules of being a "chronic illness patient" can actually be good for you. It includes profiles of some fantastic people who are breaking rules all over:

"A diagnosis of chronic illness brings a host of new things into your life. Some of the obvious include frequent doctor’s appointments, multiple medications, and symptoms that affect your day-to-day life. Not so obvious are the unspoken rules of being a chronic illness patient. Although they are well established, breaking these rules can actually be good for you.


Our culture values independence, but that goes out the window once you get a chronic illness. All of a sudden, you’re expected to be meek and passive — a patient rather than a person. Compliance is actually the term used in medicine to describe a “good” patient. That is, someone who complies with what their doctor tells them — someone who follows doctor’s orders.

That might work if you have a sprained ankle or strep throat, but it may not be the best option when you have a chronic illness. You are the best judge of what risks you want to take with medication, what a reasonable side effect is, and no one knows your body better than you.

After being told her Lyme disease was all in her head, Allie Cashel wrote a book about her experience and started the Suffering the Silence community. It brings together a wide variety of people with chronic illness, especially young women, to tell their stories and break the silence.

02 AllieCashel AuthorPhoto Color

Allie Cashel, author of Suffering the Silence.

Credit: Allie Cashel

Read the rest of the article and be inspired by chronic illness rule breakers!


Rick said…
I love reading about the fellow warriors. Wonderful profiles Lene !!

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