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.

Attitude

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.

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Allie Cashel, author of Suffering the Silence.

Credit: Allie Cashel

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

Comments

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