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.
AttitudeOur 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.
Allie Cashel, author of Suffering the Silence.
Credit: Allie Cashel
Read the rest of the article and be inspired by chronic illness rule breakers!