Having more than one of something is usually a good thing; multiple orders of fries, multiple winning lottery tickets, but multiple chronic illnesses… not so much. What was news to me was that it’s actually quite common. One in four people in the United States has more than one chronic illness.
This understandably can put more strain on an already stressful situation. Having one illness is hard enough to manage physically and mentally, but with each new one, the stress grows. While it is possible to manage multiple illnesses it takes a very strong support team. Most healthcare systems focus on things on a disease by disease basis. It takes a special team of medical professionals to think outside the box and come up with treatment plans for illnesses that may be affecting each other or may be very different. But what about outside the doctor’s office?
It can feel isolating juggling so much. It feels hard enough explaining to people about one issue, but sometimes trying to picture explaining multiple seems unfathomable. But you have to remember that dealing with things with support is the key to living better. The people in your life that love you want to know how they can help. Set aside some time to really hash it out with them. A large block of time where you won’t be interrupted and can really explain how things affect you and what it is that you need.
And always remember that sites like PeerHealth exist for just this reason. People just like you are logging on every day to get support from all over the world about things that may be overwhelming. You can find a beautiful, supportive community online who understands your situation because they’re in it too. Support can come in many forms, and digital support is one of them. Don’t limit yourself from finding all the support you can!