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A Chronic Disease Lifestyle Is Comprised Of A Plethora Of Little Details

A Chronic Disease Lifestyle Is Comprised Of A Plethora Of Little Details

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There’s more to living with a chronic condition than just going to the doctor and taking medication. This is reinforced daily by a slew of little activities that have become so commonplace that I no longer recognize them as having anything to do with my vasculitis.
It seemed at first that there was a hierarchy of significance when it came to adapting to my “new normal” after my diagnosis. One of my main concerns was adhering to treatment standards while maintaining frequent communication with my doctor and keeping track of my medical costs. My main concern was to remain alive, and I didn’t have the luxury of thinking about a higher quality of life at the time — at least not then.

Because I’ve been in remission for over a decade, I no longer have the same degree of anxiety about my health that I had back then. However, I maintain high vigilance in other areas, such as personal cleanliness, self-care, and germ avoidance.
I become sick often and am ill as a result of my illness. Because the medications I’m taking not only suppress inflammation, keeping me stable and in remission, but they also impair my body’s ability to fight against common infections, it feels like I’m being hit twice in the head. Even seemingly innocuous ailments, such as a head cold, may quickly escalate into something more serious, such as a sinus infection or pneumonia.

I’ve been doing so for years to distinguish between what my left hand and right hand are doing. For example, I’ll eat with my right hand and use my left hand to open doors, pick up after my dog, wash the dishes, and touch objects that are likely to have the most germs, such as cleaning supplies. When I break it down like that, it looks foolish, but it also makes sense to decrease the risk using ways I can manage.

Germ avoidance is a lifestyle that had had a significant impact on my social life, which was particularly tough when I was younger. I don’t tend to stay out late, and I don’t drink excessively in most situations. One of my weekly indulgences, karaoke nights, is bringing a lens-cleaning wipe to the microphone to avoid picking up viruses from another performer. If I indulge in alcoholic beverages, I make sure to drink plenty of water in between each one since dehydration is not recommended when on a treatment plan that includes steroids and anti-inflammatory medications.

Even when I was in college, I was hardly a party animal. Having a chronic illness when I was a teenager drove me to mature quickly, and I realized there were dangers to my health that weren’t worth taking. Besides, it was too tiring to remain out late while I was exhausted from the adverse effects of many drugs at the same time.

Returning to the present, I make sure to consume the right foods and exercise with caution to maintain my body as healthy as possible given the conditions. There are only so many hours in the day, and when I became ill, I had to decide what was most important to do first. Those two things are always at the top of the list. Cooking healthy meals to naturally support my immune system and exercising to keep my bones strong aren’t just alternatives for me if I have the time; they are things I force myself to do. To avoid slipping into a state where I may suffer a vasculitis flare, I must cultivate a balanced lifestyle that I can continuously operate around.

In the case of those who suffer from an autoimmune condition, healthy individuals may consider luxury self-care are closer to being essential. Journaling helps me sort through the mental ups and downs of living with a chronic disease. Rest is a basic must-have for everyone. And, particularly during the severity of winter, a hot bath is often the only thing that can get my body temperature up to a level that my muscles, nerves, and skin can handle.
Even though I have more lines on my to-do list than a healthy person my age would have, it is worthwhile to use the additional energy necessary to complete these tasks. While living with vasculitis, we must strive to improve our quality of life in as many areas as possible, rather than just surviving.

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