I started this site as it seems there’s a certain amount of symptom overlap amongst chronic conditions (long term, no cure).
With less mobility than we once had (whether through COPD, depressive illness, Type II diabetes, stroke, asthma, Alzheimers, Parkinsons, dementia, Arthritis, MS, ME, FM, multiple/everchanging sensitivities etc) we can become isolated. As friends and family rightly get on with living their lives a visit to us can sometimes get pushed down their to-do list.
We can all feel fatigued more easily and profoundly than most of our well friends.
With reduced mobility and chronic inflammation our circulation can become less than perfect resulting in a host of secondary problems.
Stress affects ALL our bodies badly; both those with a chronic condition and those ‘well’ types.
Unfortunately, having a chronic condition that has no easily identifiable fix around the corner can give us a double whammie of stress; Having a long term condition delivers physiological stress to body tissues aswell as providing a tsunami of psychological stress both of which can raise cortisol which can further impact inflammation.
Losing some of our autonomy can bring all sorts of challenges. It pays us in spades to remember we still have control over what and how much we choose to focus on a body that can’t be relied on like it once could.
What we eat we also have control over. Especially when addressing a disordered blood sugar response with its highs and lows that can lead us to eat more to give us more energy when we reach a blood sugar slump on the insulin merry go round. Trying to get our blood sugar levels in check by increasing our insulin sensitivity can only be a good thing to aim for. Again, there are far more learned resources than this one if you want to find out more.
I appreciate we’re being told what we should and shouldn’t eat all the time but sugar appears not to be good in anyone’s books. Too much of it over a length of time starts to alter how our brain functions. Some of those senior moments could be lessened by improving our insulin sensitivity. This can be done with certain types of exercise (not always easy for us) and not eating foods that turn into glucose quickly in our body.
Before this starts to become a health blog (and there are plenty out there who do the job better than me) I’ll say that stress and sugar can rob us of our quality of life. That hasn’t stopped me indulging in the occasional slice of cake by the way but it doesn’t happen as often as it used to, back when I felt my body was invincible!
There are lots of resources out there – do searches and become empowered as you find stuff out for yourself (I know, I have trouble with the empower word too). Perhaps feel more strength when you can ignore some inline resources for the nonsense they are. I find that quite empowering!
It was reported that care of the chronically ill needs to take more of a centre stage in our healthcare system especially as the population ages. I wrote a post about the Commonwealth Fund’s conclusions that rated the NHS top of all other western health systems but very close to last for its care of the chronically ill.
We can also grease the wheels of our care (which is being moved out to ‘the community’ and away from hospitals) by taking care of ourselves as much as we can. I’m not going against ‘the cradle to grave’ system that Bevin brought in with the creation of the welfare state in 1948 but we live in a different world where rights sometimes appear to have overtaken responsibilities.
Otherwise we become another victim statistic where stuff is done for us in place of us entering into a partnership with our caregivers. Think of yourself as a project manager coordinating with various trades who could do you good.
Sometimes we need to acknowledge that there’s just stuff that we can’t any longer do and we need to be able to accept help graciously (accepting help gets easier with time, I’m told) but I feel like I need to keep trying.
I’d be really interested to hear any comments because I’m talking from my own chronic condition and I’m aware there’s lots I don’t know so help me find out more. I hope that’s what this site will do. We can share our experience of the world around us.
Again, thanks for your time in reading this far. We might be a bit jazz and a bit freeform at present but Rome wasn’t built in a day! do keep checking back as something usually catches my eye and I feel is worth a talk about at least once a week!