Just three months after the birth of my first child in January 2017, I was diagnosed with Dilated Cardiomyopathy and Heart Failure.
I was devastated!
I freaked out…did NOT take the news well at all!
Once I started to pick myself up, I found certain things that really made me feel better about the whole situation.
VERY simple things that made living with Cardiomyopathy all that much easier.
Since then, I have also been diagnosed with Trigeminal Neuralgia, Hypermobility and Fibromyalgia and Eczema!
My drive to always keep pushing is my little Squidge!
Every time I look at her, I know I will never stop striving to be the best I can be.
…these conditions won’t ever stop me!
Here are the SIX top things you NEED to do if you live with a Chronic Illness.
1. Be active
You must stay active!
It is proven that physical activity and exercise directly improves the heart function and muscular growth and development.
Exercise is also known to benefit the emotional state.
Do a regular daily walk for 30 minutes every day.
Walk up those stairs instead of taking the lift (if you are able to).
Do some yoga while watching TV rather than just sitting on the sofa etc.
2. Love yourself
I’m not saying become a selfie Queen or anything, just don’t begin to hate yourself just because you are going through a hard time or are different.
…I know I did when I was first diagnosed with Cardiomyopathy.
I have always suffered from anxiety. However, since I decided to live my life rather than wasting it away, my anxiety is pretty much gone entirely!
Doing things that make you feel good about yourself and love yourself more can make all the difference.
Make sure you put on some eyeliner, lippy and a bit of bling if you go out.
I don’t get time to do my nails anymore..but I keep them clean and tidy.
Rather than just jumping in and out of the bath, pamper yourself with beautiful fragrances and some fluffy bubbles.
3. Talk to your doctor
I cannot state the importance of having a good relationship with your doctor!
You should feel comfortable enough to tell your doctor exactly how you feel about everything.
Remember, your doctors can’t help you if you are not 100% honest with them.
If you are not completely satisfied with your doctor, you should be able to ask for a transfer or another doctor (depending on your health problem and location).
At one point, I was getting really bad chest pains
, but did not want to seem like one of those “annoying” patients that call the doctor every time something is wrong!
Luckily, I did! They found out that my chest pains were linked to other medical conditions I had going on.
4. Keep track of your health
Although you might want to just ignore any condition you may have and get on with life…
You know that attitude won’t benefit you in any way whatsoever!
If you have a heart or organ problem, think about keeping a daily tracker of your blood pressure, weight, medications, fluids and salt intake.
Don’t forget to note down any strange symptoms you might have. Mention these to your doctor or consultant the next time you see them.
When I was told to track my own health, I couldn’t find a tracker that featured everything I needed on it.
So, I created my own.
5. Don’t give up
Sometimes, it is easier to just ignore what is happening in your life and hope for the best.
Realistically though, whats the point of that?
You want to live another 10 years right?!
Yes, of course you do!
Do you ever feel like this?
- It doesn’t matter if I don’t take my medication tonight. It won’t make a difference.
You are on those medications for a reason! Don’t just push the importance of them aside.
- I’m not going to bother weighing myself. I know I’ve put weight on.
Many chronic illnesses (such as Heart problems) require you to check your weight regularly, in case you are building fluid in your lungs etc.
- This is the third time I have had McDonalds this week. It’s just this week though. It won’t hurt to treat myself.
Remind yourself that you want to be here! Those extra “treats” could easily hurt you and put too much salt into your body.
Make sure you are thinking positively and not allowing yourself to fall into a depression.
Find ways to help yourself stop worrying and start actually living your life!
6. Talk to someone
Talk to your doctor or carer, or a friend or family member.
They might seem fed up of hearing about it, but that is probably only because they are getting upset of constantly hearing about the idea of losing you.
Or, they might just be fed up of seeing you complain but then not do anything to change your situation.
If you feel like you don’t have anyone to talk to, please join a support group.
There are plenty of online support groups.
Cardiomyopathy UK have registered Heart Failure nurses online most days to answer any questions you might have.
There is always someone to talk to about it.