Thriving with Chronic Illnesses

During my 17-year plus crazy beautiful health journey, I have learned many lessons. Here are just a few:

1). Embracing Relationships That Matter.

Want to find out who your true friends are? Let life throw you for a loop and you will quickly find out.

During this journey, many friends who I thought would stand with me walked away. I must admit that hurt. But, instead of dwelling on those friends that walked out, I decided to celebrate those that have stuck around through the best and worst of times. I am forever grateful for each and everyone of them.

2). Laugh And Then Laugh Some More.

My wife and I have learned the power of laughter during the darkest times. Our dark humor has helped us deal with some of the toughest moments in this crazy beautiful journey.

Even during the worst days, when my medical team has stated they have no idea what is going on with my body. Or when they wonder out loud, how are you still alive? We still laugh.

Sometimes it comes down to, if we don’t laugh about the situation we might go hide in a dark place. Who wants to deal with that scenario?

3). Be Your Own Advocate.

During the early days of my health journey, Laura and I depended on my medical team. Hey, their the experts. They know best. Wrong!

After some of my doctors refused to listen to us, Laura and I learned we needed to take charge of my healthcare. If not, some of our former doctors would have ended up killing me. That’s not a joke.

It is vital to stand up for yourself and take charge of your healthcare needs. If you are not able to do it yourself, please have a team of advocates around you. They could save your life.

Never be afraid to ask questions. Listen to your gut. Never be afraid to fire your medical team.

4). Keep Living Life.

Do not allow a bad diagnosis to keep you from living your life. I mean truly living life.

Stop putting things off until you get better. Guess what? You may never get better. So take that trip. Take that class you always wanted to. Call that friend who’s been on your mind.

Do not get so caught up in your health journey, that you forget to embrace the beautiful moments of life. The truth is, we only get one shot at life. Don’t waste a minute. ~OC

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