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A Guide for Diagnosis with Chronic Illness

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On this page is a guide of the things that I wish I knew when I was diagnosed with chronic illness and have slowly learned along the way. Diagnosis is a difficult time, and there's no sugar coating it. There may be many stages of emotions that you go through and it's okay to feel how you feel. If you need someone to talk to, please reach out.

 

You can use this to refer to upon diagnosis or share with others who have been recently diagnosed.

Stages of Grief

1. There are stages of grief that you may experience on your path to 'acceptance' of your chronic illness;

  • they're not necessarily linear, will take different times for everyone and may even  resurface after acceptance

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Understanding your illness

3. Research research research about your conditions

- it took me months to fully understand mine and sometimes I still learn new things about them

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Processing Emotions

2. Allow yourself to process ALL emotions (good and bad)

know that it's okay to feel how you feel, try not to feel guilty or suppress emotions - but acknowledge and work through them

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Make Connections

4. Connect with other people with chronic illness, using social media or joining support groups. Whilst their experience won't identical, they may be able to better understand what you're going through and offer support

Create an Explainer

5. When you’re still coming to terms with the condition, explaining it to new people may be challenging at first. I know that it took me years to realise the intricacies of how it could affect me, and verbalising it to people was difficult - so this is what I learned during the process:

  • to prepare a little document outlining what they are and how they affect you and what they can do to support you

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Create a flare up toolkit

6. Look into strategies for daily management that can help you

  • begin trialling and be patient as everyone has different strategies that will work for them

  • collate them into a flare up toolkit to refer to when you need

  • head to this page for lots more resources on this 

Adjustments and Accommodations

7. Actively search for adjustments and accommodations to make life easier

  • you may want to look into mobility aids or supports but also household gadgets, routine and general lifestyle changes that can help you cope better on a daily basis through symptoms and flare ups

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Bookmark this page to refer to. Is there anything you would add?

Let me know via the button below and I'll be sure to update this page!

Affirmations for Acceptance

When is comes to acceptance of your chronic illness, no one’s journey will be the same, we will all have time frames for processing and the stages of grief aren’t always linear and still arise sometimes past acceptance. Your journey and thought processes may well be different, but I’m sharing some of the thought processes and affirmations that helped me:

1. ​My pain and experience is valid 

2. It's all about changing my lifestyle to focus on daily management and wellness 

 

3. It might be chronic (forever) with no cure but there WILL BE management strategies that alleviate symptoms and improve quality of life 
* everyone is different and there is never a one size fits all for this 

4. Experiencing these stages of grief is part of the process and it's OKAY to feel how I feel right now 
 

DENIAL

ANGER

BARGAINING

DEPRESSION

ACCEPTANCE 

* remember these stages may not appear in a linear order and may surface after acceptance too and that's okay
 

5. I am grateful for these things {whatever they are} that my body CAN do

* I have a free 10 minute Self Love Meditation to help you do this

6. Healing and symptom relief won't necessarily be linear and there will be good days and bad days 

 

7. It's okay to rest and show my body compassion 

 

8. My focus is on putting my body's needs first 

9. Everything I do each day will focus on wellness and helping me feel good, to alleviate some pain and symptoms 
 

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