Being diagnosed with a chronic illness or other long-term health concern is a life-changing moment. So many dreams you had for the future are suddenly dissolving and it's hard not to mourn the healthy version of you. But, while these sudden changes can feel monumental, you don't need to feel powerless. Taking a few particular steps and precautions can help you take control of your life once more, and improve your quality of life despite your chronic health issues.
Learn as much as you can.
When you receive a diagnosis, your first step should be to research your condition. In fact, you can even dive in before your doctor has settled on a particular condition—you can learn about potential explanations that you can mention at your next consultation. In either case, spend some time learning as much as possible about your health issues and what to expect.
The internet is an invaluable resource, of course, and books can often provide important insight, too. For a more personal take, seek out others who share your diagnosis. Facebook pages, support groups, and other communities can give you the chance to ask questions, find support, and learn more about what this diagnosis implies.
Don't forget your mental health.
If you're suffering from a physical health condition, mental health issues will likely manifest alongside it. Depression, anxiety, and other emotional problems are common comorbidities with diagnoses like cancer, COVID-19, and other long-lasting conditions. Bolster your mental health with a bit of self-care, made all the more impactful with options like Nicole Kidman Skincare.
Nicole Kidman, an Oscar, Golden Globe, and Emmy Award-winning actress and star of the hit show Big Little Lies, has joined SeraLabs as the brand's first strategic business partner and global brand ambassador for their topical products. SeraLabs' products offer a chance to unwind, hydrating dry skin and giving you a chance to focus on you, not your diagnosis. Talk to your doctor about adding their CBD topicals to your skincare routine to not only indulge in some much-needed self-care but to take advantage of those offered by CBD, too.
Consider unconventional treatment options.
Adding self-care to your routine isn't the only way you can add to your treatment plan. Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, in particular, telemedicine offerings have become more popular. Telehealth can let you get the treatment you need from the comfort of your couch but that's not all.
Rural areas, for example, can utilize telemedicine visits to fill gaps where an in-person visit may not be an option. Even in cancer care telemedicine can provide the uninterrupted, high-quality treatment you need, even if you can't get to your oncologist for in-person care. In many cases, a virtual visit with a clinician or other healthcare professional can accomplish many of the same important things you'd discuss during a physical exam.
Build a wide-spread care team.
Cancer patients know they need a good oncologist and the same is true for any chronic health problem. Telemedicine clinicians and in-person care teams alike provide more than specialist treatments; these professionals offer a much-needed source of support throughout your diagnosis and treatment process. But your need for support doesn't start and end with an in-person or virtual visit. Do what you can to create the support system you need, whether that's sharing your gratitude for the friends and family by your side or booking an appointment with a therapist or other mental health professional to work through the emotions of your chronic illness.
As you learn about your diagnosis, you and your care team can work to supplement your medical treatment with options like mental healthcare, telemedicine, CBD, and other alternative therapies, and even something as simple as self-care. With conventional and less formal treatments alike, you, your medical provider, and the other people in your support system can help you through even the most overwhelming diagnosis.