In 2010, I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, a chronic condition that affects millions of people around the globe. Most of them are women. So far, there is no cure.
I had enjoyed a successful career as a natural medicines therapist and teacher, but fibromyalgia forced me to stop working for two years, reassess my life and embrace a new normal.
I eventually left my old career behind and retrained in organic horticulture, teaching part-time in schools until recently.
My illness taught me so much, and I want to share some of my most important insights. Here are a few suggestions for living with fibromyalgia or another life-changing illness.
Reassessing My Values
Illness forced me to reassess my values. Health is now my number one priority, before career, relationships, finances and all else.
I’ve developed a habit of asking myself “Will this be beneficial to my health and well-being?” If not, it is not for me.
I have kept a gratitude journal for many years, and it has helped me appreciate the good times and the not so good.
I am blessed with a warm home, running water, fresh air, food to eat, great family and friends, time in Nature, beautiful sunsets and daily miracles.
Try keeping a diary of the blessings in your life for one month, and notice any changes in your perception of life.
Learning to be Proactive
A wealth of information is available online for specific health conditions. Joining a support group will invite new friendships from others who understand the challenges of your medical condition. You can then exchange tips on self-help techniques and coping mechanisms.
Cultivate a Good Relationship with Your Medical Team
Writing down a list of questions before visits to your doctor or consultant will ensure more positive outcomes.
I have copies of all my medical records, including blood tests, X-rays and other investigations. This keeps me informed of my…