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The sustained effort of the chronically ill

 Being chronically ill does not come with any perks. It is exhausting to live with these symptoms on a daily basis. To have chronic pain and fatigue on a daily basis.

If that were it, that would be enough. That would suck and people would not care much that it sucks for us, but it would suck nonetheless.

But that is not it. Since we have a chronic illness we have to chronically treat it.

  1. Medications- and their side effects. Often including side effects like weight gain and More fatigue. Or More brain fog.
  2. Supplements and vitamins. For every illness there is a long list of supplements and vitamins that might help with it. I say might for a reason. They could help, they might not. They might be full of filler and little else since the industry is not very controlled. It is hard to know which ones to take as well because taking them all would mean likely just not bothering eating. And the cost is not something to ignore.
  3. Alternative treatments. Take your pick on this one. Acupuncture. Chiropractor. Massage therapy. Physiotherapy. Biofeedback. Neurofeedback. We try many things. Some of them help a little. Cost again is always a factor. Unless it is meditation and relaxation therapy... those are free.
  4. Therapy and psychology. Pain and illness take a toll on us so therapy helps out with this because it can help us develop ways to cope. Cost is also a factor in this.
  5. Exercise. Always a fallback treatment. You have to constantly fight your fatigue and pain to maintain this one. Always an uphill battle and you never know if it is doing anything but at least it helps with fitness. The irony is you know no one else is doing these sorts of things. No other couch potato out there Has to exercise. No, they just get to judge you on what you do or don't do. We Have to exercise. Life is like that.
  6. Other life style changes. You can fit anything in here. Changing sleep patterns... a damn hard one. Changing diet... one that can go so many different ways. 

And then... sustain all this. Because this is what it is to be chronically ill. I know the impression that people generally have but what it is really like is a doing a lot for our illness and getting very little return for all our effort. That is what it is like. Not doing nothing and just having an imaginary illness. No, we work our asses off trying to get some sort of change. In some cases we do get a change and then we have to continue to maintain that level. Holding a balance is just as difficult.

So bravo! You should be damn proud of every damn thing you do for your health. We fight through pain and fatigue to do every damn thing we do in a  day. That is something. So everything we do is impressive. This is why we should do a daily gratitude journal... to note that we can and do accomplish things and we should be proud of those things.That we do make efforts for our health and ever bit counts.

So hold your head up. Straighten that back. And walk...

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