There’s a lot of discussion in the world about “if you wait until you’re ready, you’ll never do it” or “don’t wait until you’re ready, the world is at the end of your comfort zone.” For many people “ready” seems like a dirty word. It’s an excuse or a limit to what you can do, a crutch. But crutches exist for a reason—to help you walk when you’re injured.
Figuring out how to manage your chronic conditions is often a years-long work in process that never really ends. My newest experiment is a continuation of my on-again, off-again relationship with exercise.
I often feel like an expert in being chronically ill. I know how to look up doctors on my insurance company’s website. I know to ask if they cover me just in case when I make an appointment. I know to ask if the tests are covered as well when they suggest something. I know how many physicals and dental check-ups I get a year and I know what out of network versus in network means. I know how to get reimbursed for out of pocket expenses. I know what an FSA is. I know I can ask my pharmacist if the medications I take could have dangerous interactions.
There’s so much advice online about talking to oneself as a friend. You’re supposed to stop the negative self-talk that’s just making you more anxious and depressed. One of the number one pieces of advice on the internet is to treat yourself with kindness. You write out positive affirmations and say them into the mirror. Or you repeat mantras.
In my quest for wellness and relief from chronic pain, I’ve decided to try acupuncture. I’m in a transition period from graduate school to working and decided to use some of my time to give it a real try. I’ve been really good in the past about letting fatigue and a lack of time stop me from trying this. I’m a believer in different medical systems and what they can offer, so I’m kind of disappointed that I haven’t tried it before.