I’m not Ann Landers and I don’t have offer and advice column. I hope you’ve noticed that these posts intend to inspire questions rather than give answers, offer ways to think differently and encourage you to take risks.   And, most importantly, to find the resources and help you need to do this.

That said, this email, sent asking for advice, included a comment (in bold)that resonated and I have to share it.

Do you feel better when you do more?  Regardless of your capacity, do you think that activity, and work, in particular, helps you thrive when you live with a chronic health challenge?   

FYI: The writer gave me permission to post this with her name.

Hi Rosalind!  I am so appreciative of your hard work in bringing articles and suggestions to light with regard to working and living with chronic illness.  I have Sjogrens Syndrome and it seems like the more I do (work, stay active), the better I feel both physically and emotionally.

However, I’m getting so tired of taking so many medications each day and I’m looking for an alternative.  Do you know of any resources and stories of success that you can share?  I’m very good about following doctor’s orders but I’m at the point to where I’m ready to try something altogether different; for example, special diet, exercise, etc.   I’ve reached a plateau with my medications but I don’t want to go to higher doses because we’ve tried that and I have adverse effects.

I also appreciate your book, very much.  I thought that I was destined to stay in the house for the rest of my life until I read your book.  Now, I work again and I love my work very much (I’m a special ed. teacher).  I figure that if I can do it, with determination, anyone can.  Your book helped me realize that, along with my doctor who refuses to let me give up hope.

Lynda S. Chick

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Dear Lynda,

I’m delighted to hear that you find staying active improves your overall well-being.   

What a good question you ask.  Here are some questions to consider:  Have you discussed that you think  you’ve plateaued with your meds with your doctor?  Do you and she/he talk about what you might do   together to evaluate this?  Healthcare professionals who partner with you are a tremendous resource and sometimes we need to nudge them to do this.

 I’ve done a wide range of traditional medical procedures and meds, exercise programs, meditation/focusing practice, acupuncture and other complementary medical resources.  Some are more useful than others and it’s important to know before you start how you will evaluate their usefulness.

Each of us has to do what we can to improve our overall mental/emotional/physical and spiritual self.  That often means taking risks to see what works for you.

Thank you for sharing.

Warmly,
Rosalind

 

8 Responses to “The more I do, the better I feel. Sound Familiar?”  

  1. 1 Mel

    In short, yes. However, balance is key. With chronic health conditions we have to be especially careful as to make sure our lives and what we do is in balance. Too much “stagnation” makes me feel more tired. Being too busy or having too much on my plate can cause more stress and fatigue. I think that is true for just about anyone however…regardless of your health. But it is important to find that healthy balance based on your own needs.

    It can be a challenge to activate ourselves into action if we have “limitations” (I don’t care for that word, but for lack of a better one at this moment, I am using it here), but for me I just break things down into small steps and small goals and tackle one at a time. And even if I am only able to get to a few of those steps or goals, I always feel better. When you feel better psychologically, you can feel better physically. Accomplishing things, being productive and the like are great psychological uplifters. However, with chronic health conditions, one can tend to get easily overwhelmed. So again, there is a balance one has to strive for based on their own needs in order to truly thrive.

    And in response to the author of the email – saying you’ve hit a plateau with your meds yet you still want to strive to find other means to feeling better (eg. diet, nutrition, etc.) shows that you are not willing to just give up hope – and that too is key. If something isn’t working, keep on keepin’ on and continue to look to other ways or additional ways to help your life go as smoothly and as well as it can given your condition. I won’t offer specific advice on all of that because it really is up to each individual and their own needs, but there is a lot of great information available out there on how to live a more healthy and holistic lifestyle. With that though, there are so many options and choices and that it can become overwhelming or confusing as to what the best avenue to take is for you. To that I would just say do some research and trust your intuition on what resonates the most for you. Try one thing at a time and see if it helps. Take it one step at a time, and most of all….don’t be hard on yourself or get discouraged. If there is one thing I have learned in all the years of dealing with chronic health issues, perseverance and patience pays off, as well as being kind to yourself. :)

    Good Luck!

  2. 2 Debra

    I feel better when I do a moderate amount of activity, such as working part-time in a nonstressful job. I really enjoy having a lot of free time to just BE.

    I love to get plenty of sleep, sit on the couch and savor my cup of coffee in the morning, read, exercise, watch DVDs, cook healthy food, and spend time with my family and friends.

    Being busy all the time means not having enough time for all these relaxing and pleasurable things that feed my soul.

    Most people I know are so busy and constantly stressed–I really don’t understand how that would help a person with a chronic health condition.

  3. 3 Rosalind

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this. It’s so helpful to hear from others.

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    It’s triggered by the fire communicated in the post I read.
    And after this post The more I do, the better I feel. Sound
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  5. 5 Rosalind

    I try to eliminate the responses that are ‘spam’ ‘brain dead’ but? Good point – Good point to include my social pages – Will do

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  7. 7 Lynda Chick

    I’d like to follow up on my original questions about going ‘med-free’. I decided, on my own, to stop taking medications for my Sjogren’s syndrome because I felt like I reached a plateau; my doctor having to increase my doses and my suffering some terrible side-effects. Long story short, I do hurt more, but I am so much more mentally sharp. I have to weigh the pros and cons, daily. I take only ibuprofen and generic Tylenol, and although they may just take the edge off, when I move around I feel better. Sometimes, I can move around and clean all day long, but I definitely pay for it, physically. However, prior to going med-free I had no energy, was very forgetful, and it seemed like my mood was very static. Yes, the pain is worse, but my head is clear; so very important, since I am a teacher (special education). I have to be alert and think quickly. Regarding living a balanced life, I began a light exercise routine, started eating more veggies and fruits (thanks to my garden-savvy husband), take daily vitamins, and my family and I now regularly visit the movie theater or do other family activities. I just want to say that I decided to withdraw my medications without my doctor’s approval. Normally, I wouldn’t recommend that approach so I’m not advocating that, at all. I just felt like it was the right decision for me.

  8. 8 Rosalind

    Thank you for sharing this. We each have to decide what is right for us, regardless of the ‘expert’ advice that we get. IT sounds like it has been so useful to you to do that and that’s what is most important, isn’t it?

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