The one thing I have learn about life and having to live with a chronic disease is that no matter what you do sometimes, some days are just going to be bad days and that is OK
You can have the best diet in the world, you can have the best emotional outlook, you can exercise, and you can have the best support, but some days “Shit Happens”
Some days the disease state just flares up, or your immune system just doesn’t work as well as it should, or the body just wants to take a break and those are the days when you sit there wondering what you have done, or ask yourself “why is this happening?”
This week I had one of those weeks. I am sure many people can relate. My lung capacity was at half of what it should be and I was really struggling to get on top of it all. I had to work really hard to get back to a state of normalcy and it was really concerning me and also frustrating me. The whole week was a struggle and then by the end of the week, I was starting to feel back to normal again. But, it took some really hard work to start to feel normal again.
“Why?” I kept asking. My diet is good and I am taking my medicines and trying to stay positive and I have been getting to be early, so why is this happening?
Well the truth is that sometimes, when you are living with a chronic disease, no matter what you do, you are just going to have bad days. People can say what they want, or try to justify it being this, or that, but some days there is just no reason why. But, the main thing is that even though you have bad days, as long as the good outweigh the bad, then you are moving forward and probably in a better place than you previously were. We aren’t invincible. We are humans. We get sick. We get tired. We get stressed. We cannot expect to be in perfect health all the time and sometimes we just have to realise this. Then, if you have a chronic disease state, there is more chance of having some bad days and again, that is OK.
Having said that, if you do all of a sudden have a flare up of symptoms, it is good to do the system check and evaluate what may be causing you to have a flare up, or have a bad day, or not feel so great, or feel so tired etc.
The things you need to ask yourself are:
- Have you been eating well?
- Have you been eating too many bad foods?
- Have you been stressed?
- Do you have negative people impacting you and your health?
- Are you exercising and moving the body to keep fit?
- How is your emotional outlook?
- When was your last holiday?
- When was the last time you took some time out for you?
- Have you been taking you medications? (if needed)
- Have you been following the advice from your healthcare practitioner?
- When was the last time you had a health check-up?
- Have you been drinking enough water?
- Have you been drinking too much alcohol?
- Have you been getting enough sleep?
- Have you had a virus, or a cold, or a flu, or some other illness recently?
All these things you need to ask yourself and are some of the things I asked myself recently. If you aren’t getting enough sleep, stressing too much, not exercising, not eating well, aren’t being positive, aren’t drinking enough water, not taking your medications, not following healthcare advice etc, and then all these things can lead to a flare of symptoms. Sometimes it is just a bit of everything that builds up and causes you to feel poorly, or have a flare of symptoms. Sometimes it may just be one thing alone. No matter what it is, you need to do a check and see if there is anything that needs to be changed in order for you to feel better.
Some of the things you can do to feel better:
- Eat health whole foods and no refined foods
- Go and do some exercise, or go for a nice walk in the fresh air
- Drink more water
- Take your medicines
- Take some time out for self
- Do some mindfulness training
- Do some meditation
- Book in with your counsellor
- Book into see your healthcare practitioner
- Get some acupuncture
- Do some yoga
- Get a massage
- Go for a swim
- Read a book
- Get a funny movie out and have some laughs
- Be supported by friends
- Make love
- Get cuddles
- Be positive
There are many other things you can do to make yourself feel better and help get your health back on track.
As I said, we are humans and we aren’t perfect, but we also need to sometimes stop and take check of our lives and look at what may be causing our health to suffer, or our disease states to be exacerbated and flare symptoms. It is about being proactive and being honest with one’s self and then making the necessary changes to help yourself get better. There is no “try” there is only “do”.
Lastly, just remember to not be harsh on yourself. Be kind to yourself. Just remember that you are human and it is OK to have a bad day. If those bad days continue, it just means you need to get some help and get back on top of your health again and that is OK. Never be scared to ask for help when you need it and ask for support from those around you.
Now, off you go, and be the best version of you and go and have a good day.
Dr Andrew Orr
-No Stone Left Unturned
-Women’s and Men’s Health Advocate