Chronic Disease Diagnosis: The New Next Steps In Your Life

14 Apr 2023 | Advice

Asthma, obesity, arthritis, lung cancer, depression… These are just a few chronic diseases that can have a long-lasting impact on your functional abilities. Chronic diseases are typically incurable, but can often be managed with lifestyle changes and the help of your medical team. Today, Eximius Support shares this quick dive into the steps you might take when your life has veered off path due to a chronic disease diagnosis.

Educate Yourself

Your disease comes with a unique set of challenges. Do what you can to learn about your condition and what you can do to ease pain. Look into alternative treatments, like CBD and massage, to learn if they can provide relief. Science is constantly revealing new things, and your doctors may not be aware of these advancements. Staying on top of reputable websites can help you to self advocate during your treatment.

Check Your Health Insurance

One of the best things that the Affordable Healthcare Act did was ensure that no one can be denied medical coverage because of a pre-existing condition. However, not all insurance policies come with the same benefits. Make a point to dive deep into your potential options, especially if you’ve recently switched from a salaried career to freelance life. 

Learn Healthy Ways to Manage Stress

Stress and chronic diseases go hand-in-hand. You have to learn how to manage the former as you navigate the nuances of the latter. Stress management techniques might include anything from yoga and meditation to hiring a housekeeper once each week. The American Heart Association also recommends gardening, reading, and exercising.

Seek Mental and Emotional Support

Speaking with a qualified therapist can help you overcome feelings of overwhelm and alienation. Therapy is also another great way to relieve stress and get guidance on how to proceed with your everyday activities. You can also look for support sites and services for people with your specific condition. For example, the Arachnoiditis and Chronic Meningitis Research Network facilitates peer forums and resources for people affected by these conditions.

Determine Where You Need Help

Chances are, you’ll be visiting the doctor more often than ever before. Since you’re likely to be battling fatigue and exhaustion along with physical limitations, it might be more difficult to transport yourself there and back for each visit. Enlist the help of your friends and family to get you there. When they are not available, you may need to rely on rideshare. If you have Medicare, transportation may be covered under certain circumstances.

You may also find that your current home is not conducive to your mobility or the in-home care you may need. If this is the case, you should consider moving to a more accessible location. It’s not always possible to buy a house with ramps, handrails, wider doors, or other accessibility friendly options; but you can buy one that has the potential for these features. Start by checking your credit report and determining how much you can afford. If you own a home, you’ll need to assess the amount of equity you have if you sell. Moving can be hard, but you will be investing in your care, comfort, and well-being which is important.

Switch to a Healthier or Condition-Specific Diet

Some chronic diseases, such as diabetes and obesity, may be triggered by lifestyle choices. UCLA asserts that your diet may also be responsible for reducing the symptoms of chronic diseases by improving kidney function and blood pressure. In many cases, a plant-based diet can help your body improve from the inside out. Just remember to talk to your primary healthcare provider or disease specialist before making any dietary changes

Talk to Your Family

Breaking the news of a terminal or chronic condition is never easy. Your family, friends, coworkers, and others will worry about you, and they may act differently toward you. However, it’s important that you are honest with the people whom the diagnosis will affect most. One example is your children. It’s crucially important for them to know the types of medical issues they might face in the future. Furthermore, by letting everyone know, you will have a stronger support system as you battle these new issues.

Find Ways to Navigate Your New Conditions

Living with a chronic disease is not always easy. When you’re newly diagnosed, your first steps should include the above, from checking your new insurance benefits to talking to your doctor about your diet. And if you expect your mobility to decline or the need for in-home care in the future, look into buying a more accessible home where you can be comfortable for longer. Remember, although you can’t change the past, every step you take today will help you live a healthier tomorrow. 

Eximius Support is here to help you care for your loved ones. If you have any questions, please let us know!