10 Tips for a ‘Common Sense Approach’ to Life With a Chronic Illness

While living with a chronic illness can be challenging, there are ways that you can make life easier and live a happy and fulfilling life. Establishing good habits and routines takes time, but as Gunnar Esiason points out in his blog Own It, there are some "common sense approaches" to living life with a chronic illness that everyone can find useful. Follow Directions It's tempting to cut corners sometimes, especially if you're running late or tired, but taking medications and therapies as prescribed and for the required amount of time will prevent you from becoming sick. Skipping meds or only partially doing therapies, not cleaning or maintaining equipment may save you a little bit of time in the short run, but may result in you becoming sick. Designate a First Responder Designate a person (or persons) who you can rely on to know what to do if you have a medical emergency. This can be a member of your family, a colleague, or a friend. Make sure they know how to respond to any exacerbations you may experience. Be Organized Keep any medications, equipment or paperwork that has to do with your health condition in good order. If you need to take medications at different times of the day, set reminders on your cellphone. Keep all paperwork in an organized folder so everything you need is easily found. Use weekly pill boxes to keep a week's supply of meds ready. Ensure all equipment is cleaned after use so it's ready for the next time. MORE: Five types of exercise to help relieve fibro pain Use Trusted Sources for Information Dr. Google
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  1. Betsy Jacobson (formerly Fibrobetsy) says:

    Please know that the Fibromyalgia population is 10-12% of the general population and approximately 20% of the health care seeking population.

  2. Betsy Jacobson (formerly Fibrobetsy) says:

    Thanks for publishing this. I keep wanting people to know the real numbers of PWFM (people with FM) because doctors, e.g., think that since so few people have it they don’t bother to learn much about it, and they’re not particularly empathic to the needs of PWFM. Moreover, many MD’s continue to believe that it’s AITH – All In Their Heads, the old belief. I’ve learned a lot from this website and hope you’ll continue to “print” it.


  3. Betsy Jacobson (formerly Fibrobetsy) says:

    BTW, laughing isn’t just a lot of fun and something which we ought to do on a regular basis, but, according to Stamford Univ., belly laughs release endorphins, those loveable hormones which relieve pain. Here’s the thing; your brain, according to Stamford, doesn’t know if you’re belly laughing at something really funny. It’s the act of belly laughing that turns it on.

    So here’s something else: since your brain doesn’t know if it’s humor at which you’re laughing, when you DO belly laugh, you’ll probably feel better anyway. I probably have less pain than most fibromyalgics, because I’m a comedienne, and I laugh a lot.

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