Dealing with chronic illness
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
04-08-2016, 03:00 AM
Dealing with chronic illness
Hi,

I have a close friend who is dealing with chronic illness. I have known him for 20 years, and for the last 7 years he has been very ill, with several cancer operations resulting in a colostomy. He is likely to survive (the docs say) but suffers pain most of the time.

My friend is a thoughtful and intelligent person and we have discussed a psychological question.

'When facing chronic illness and pain, should we fight it or try to roll with it ?'

Of course I cannot put myself in his position, but am trying to empathise as much as possible. His view is that it can't be seen as a fight, but has to be accepted and put to one side in order to avoid depression. He has not been entirely successful in this and did make one suicide attempt, which the doctors know about.

It is a very hard question, but does anyone have experience or wisdom to share on the subject? I want to give my friend support without being intrusive.

D.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
04-08-2016, 03:08 AM
RE: Dealing with chronic illness
I have fibromyalgia and severe degenerative disc disease (I'm 27 almost and I already have some permanent nerve damage due to disc issues). How I deal with it varies from day to day.

I don't really know what the difference is between roll with it and fight it. To me it's the same. You fight it because you're not going to let it get you down and ruin your life. You roll with it because you adjust and do what you need to do to try to keep living your life. It can be emotional. Some days it's really hard. My best advice...more important than how you face it IMO, keep your mental health in check. Do therapy or counseling. Get on anti depressants if you need to. When you let your mental health suffer, everything else gets harder too.

Swing with me a while, we can listen to the birds call, we can keep each other warm.
Swing with me forever, we can count up every flower, we can weather every storm.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 4 users Like Losty's post
04-08-2016, 01:44 PM
RE: Dealing with chronic illness
(04-08-2016 03:08 AM)Losty Wrote:  I have fibromyalgia and severe degenerative disc disease (I'm 27 almost and I already have some permanent nerve damage due to disc issues). How I deal with it varies from day to day.

I don't really know what the difference is between roll with it and fight it. To me it's the same. You fight it because you're not going to let it get you down and ruin your life. You roll with it because you adjust and do what you need to do to try to keep living your life. It can be emotional. Some days it's really hard. My best advice...more important than how you face it IMO, keep your mental health in check. Do therapy or counseling. Get on anti depressants if you need to. When you let your mental health suffer, everything else gets harder too.

Losty,

Thanks for a very wise reply. Sorry to hear that you are suffering with such a tough condition.

I agree with you that the strategies I have been discussing with my friend are part of the "same" thing, which is coping. Yes, the emotional side and depression are a key to coping with the illness or slipping down.

My friend does go up and down, depending on the internal struggle that he has. Also, he gets counselling on the NHS, which he says "helps a little bit". I don't think he is on anti-depressants, but he has a heck of a lot of different medications every day.

One bright spot with him is that he fights with his doctors. There is nothing that he can do about the cancer, but he does have a moan about the various doctors. If he ever stopped doing that, I think he would be losing heart. The latter is my greatest worry for him.

D.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Dworkin's post
04-08-2016, 02:35 PM
RE: Dealing with chronic illness
I wish the best for your friend Heart

Swing with me a while, we can listen to the birds call, we can keep each other warm.
Swing with me forever, we can count up every flower, we can weather every storm.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Losty's post
04-08-2016, 02:46 PM
RE: Dealing with chronic illness
From my experience dealing with chronic pain is exhausting both mentally and physically. It robs you of sleep. It robs you of enjoying even the simplest of things and sometimes makes just getting through the day seem like you are trudging through quicksand just to get to the next hour.

I went through it for three years after my mastectomies to the point of just not knowing what to do. I did go on antidepressants and that helped a lot. I am lucky in that I have gotten much better. There is still pain every day all day but it is manageable. It's a good thing since doctors don't want to give out anything for pain relief any more.

I still have what I call my 'sore days' where my breast bone feels like a toothache and my upper back is sore and the muscles over my implants hurt. There are times when I do something that messes with the nerves in my shoulders and then my hands and arms go all squirrelly for a while. I have just learned to live around it.

Keeping my mind occupied was the best thing I could do for me. I went to school, taking a couple classes at a time because I needed a focus. And sometimes I had to take a day and give in to the pain. Accept it, curl up in a ball and feel sorry for myself and then get up the next day and keep on going.

I hope that things improve for your friend.

See here they are the bruises some were self-inflicted and some showed up along the way. - JF

We're all mad here. The Cheshire Cat

Are my Chakras on straight?
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 4 users Like Anjele's post
04-08-2016, 06:02 PM
RE: Dealing with chronic illness
There is not much choice. One cannot fight it. There's nothing to fight.

I have constant pain 24/7. The rating of my pain on a good day sadly remains high. This is added to by a very severe and life threatening cancer.

I just have to deal with it. There is no choice.

Best of luck to your friend.

NOTE: Member, Tomasia uses this site to slander other individuals. He then later proclaims it a joke, but not in public.
I will call him a liar and a dog here and now.
Banjo.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 2 users Like Banjo's post
04-08-2016, 06:32 PM
RE: Dealing with chronic illness
It's really an individual thing, we are all different and have different coping mechanisms. One thing is for sure - we can handle a lot more than we think. We reach that bridge - and we cross it even though it seems unsurmountable.

[Image: dobie.png]Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Dom's post
05-08-2016, 02:13 AM
RE: Dealing with chronic illness
(04-08-2016 06:02 PM)Banjo Wrote:  There is not much choice. One cannot fight it. There's nothing to fight.

I have constant pain 24/7. The rating of my pain on a good day sadly remains high. This is added to by a very severe and life threatening cancer.

I just have to deal with it. There is no choice.

Best of luck to your friend.

Sorry to hear that, Banjo. Sad
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Lucipurr's post
05-08-2016, 03:03 AM
RE: Dealing with chronic illness
(04-08-2016 02:46 PM)Anjele Wrote:  From my experience dealing with chronic pain is exhausting both mentally and physically. It robs you of sleep. It robs you of enjoying even the simplest of things and sometimes makes just getting through the day seem like you are trudging through quicksand just to get to the next hour.

I went through it for three years after my mastectomies to the point of just not knowing what to do. I did go on antidepressants and that helped a lot. I am lucky in that I have gotten much better. There is still pain every day all day but it is manageable. It's a good thing since doctors don't want to give out anything for pain relief any more.

I still have what I call my 'sore days' where my breast bone feels like a toothache and my upper back is sore and the muscles over my implants hurt. There are times when I do something that messes with the nerves in my shoulders and then my hands and arms go all squirrelly for a while. I have just learned to live around it.

Keeping my mind occupied was the best thing I could do for me. I went to school, taking a couple classes at a time because I needed a focus. And sometimes I had to take a day and give in to the pain. Accept it, curl up in a ball and feel sorry for myself and then get up the next day and keep on going.

I hope that things improve for your friend.

Anjele,

Phew! Respect.

Something I take from your post is "live around it" and also "a focus". What you said about sometimes giving in to the pain hits home too.

OK, confession time. While the OP about my friend is true, one reason he and I discuss this stuff is that I am suffering too. I have a nasty bowel disease (not cancer) which has been sucking the life out of me for 20 years. Once I bled out and it was an ambulance and emergency operation. It could happen again any time.

D.

Re, tough times with the pain, I have some breathing exercises which have helped a bit on bad days. Just counting the breaths and slowing down heart rate while resting on a bed.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
05-08-2016, 03:12 AM
RE: Dealing with chronic illness
(04-08-2016 06:02 PM)Banjo Wrote:  There is not much choice. One cannot fight it. There's nothing to fight.

I have constant pain 24/7. The rating of my pain on a good day sadly remains high. This is added to by a very severe and life threatening cancer.

I just have to deal with it. There is no choice.

Best of luck to your friend.

Banjo,

I've been reading around the forum and obviously picked up on your experience. Words don't help much against chronic pain, but your posts are an inspiration to everyone in trouble.

D.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 2 users Like Dworkin's post
Post Reply
Forum Jump: