You can never really prepare yourself for a serious health diagnosis. They can come out of the blue and at times you may not know how to cope. You have to understand that this is completely normal, but taking care of yourself during this time should always be your first priority.
Go Easy on Yourself
When you are diagnosed with a serious illness, you have to make sure that you go easy on yourself. A scary diagnosis is a crisis, to say the least and for this reason, you should treat it as if it is one. Don’t act as if your life hasn’t changed, because it has. If you feel overwhelmed then don’t be afraid to let go of some things. Let other people take care of some of the chores, or even ask for a lift when you go out to your doctor’s appointment. If you feel too tired to go to work, call in sick. People will understand far more than you realize, and this is something that you do need to keep in consideration.
Know that you Won’t Always Feel This Way
A lot of people feel shocked and even numbness when they learn that they have a serious health problem. This is normal, but it won’t last forever. Eventually, your feelings will change and you may even go onto experience dread or depression. You have to remember that this will also pass and that you will feel better. Serious illnesses can be hard to accept, but that doesn’t mean that they are impossible to come to terms with.
Try and Absorb What You’re Told
When you are talking with the doctor, there is a high chance that you will only absorb some of what you are told. You may have some difficulty understanding the information you are being told about your condition and you may be unable to decide which treatment option you want to go with as well. This is because when you go into shock, your attention span will shorten and this makes it nearly impossible for you to take in new information properly. All you can do is try your best and do some research when you feel more up to it at home.
Take your Time
If you do find it hard to take in new information then it can be a good thing to do your research, as mentioned above. You do however need to make sure that you don’t try and do too much at once. The last thing you need is to overwhelm yourself with information that you just aren’t able to process. Spend 10 minutes or so researching at a time, and then go on to do more research at a later date. If you find a group, don’t hesitate to join it either. If you have ovarian cancer, for example, it’s worth looking into the Inspire Ovarian Cancer support group.
Dealing with a serious illness can be daunting, but when you are able to look after yourself and take your time understanding everything, you will soon find that you feel better for it.
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