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After the Diagnosis: 7 Ways To Move Forward With an Incurable Disease
Guest article by Rufus Carter
Receiving a diagnosis of a chronic or incurable disease can be an overwhelming and emotional experience. You might feel like your world has been turned upside down and the life you once knew has disappeared. While it may seem difficult, however, it’s possible to move forward and find a new normal. Below, we discuss seven practical steps you can take as you navigate the journey ahead.
1. Grieve and Accept Your Diagnosis
Allowing yourself to grieve and accept your diagnosis is the first step in moving forward. You must acknowledge your feelings and give yourself time to process what has happened. As difficult as it may be, try not to let your diagnosis consume you. Make time for enjoyable activities and surround yourself with loved ones who can offer you genuine support.
2. Learn About Your Disease
Empower yourself with knowledge about your condition. Speak to your doctor about your diagnosis and ask as many questions as necessary to learn about the diagnosis, treatment options, and prognosis. Being well-informed will help you feel more in control and make better decisions about your care.
3. Fine-Tune Your Sleep Habits
Sleep is crucial for our overall health, but it can be hard to come by when coping with an incurable disease. Developing good sleep habits can go a long way toward improving your quality of life. Establish a regular sleep routine, eliminate distractions like electronics, and create a comfortable sleep environment.
When it comes to fostering a healthy sleep environment, consider which investments are worth making. You might be surprised at how impactful new bedding can be for making your bedroom more conducive to sleep and relaxation. These days, you can easily find one-of-a-kind sham designs from artists (consider this option) and have them printed on demand. Whether you opt for patterns to match your sheets and duvet or go with something totally different, you can have a refreshed bed in no time. And since you’re ordering on demand, you can rest assured your design won’t run out of stock.
4. Find Ways To Rest During the Day
If you want to support your energy levels, you must rest as needed during the day. This may mean napping when you feel tired, but it can also mean taking breaks throughout the day to recharge. Sitting in a quiet room, listening to music, or meditating will do wonders for your physical, mental, and emotional health. Listen to your body and do what feels best for you.
5. Engage in Activities You Enjoy
Take time to engage in activities that bring you joy, whether it’s spending time with family, reading a book, or taking on a new hobby. Finding something to look forward to each day can significantly boost your spirits and your mental health. It can also provide a sense of accomplishment and a positive outlook for the future.
6. Manage Your Finances Well
Dealing with medical bills and expenses can be stressful if not overwhelming. You must be able to manage your finances well to avoid such stress. Consider setting up a budget and talking to a financial planner to plan for your future expenses. There might be resources available to help support you financially, but planning ahead is still the best approach.
7. Hire Someone
Adjusting to life with an incurable disease will bring about a wealth of new challenges, and hiring professionals can help you find your stride. Medical professionals like doctors and nurses can provide treatment options and help you manage your symptoms, while mental health professionals such as therapists and counselors can help you cope with the emotional toll of living with your disease. You may also consider hiring a caregiver or home health aide for assistance with daily tasks to improve your overall quality of life.
The Bottom Line
Getting an incurable disease diagnosis is never easy, but remember that you’re not alone. Reach out to friends and family, talk to your healthcare team, foster your mental and physical health, and implement the other strategies above. You will find hope, strength, and inspiration to move forward with your life. Most importantly, see each day as an opportunity to find joy and cherish the time you spend with those who matter most.