"I have learned that to thrive with chronic illness, you need resilience by the bucket load"

“The one thing I wanted to be able to do is roll off the floor without using my hands just as everyone else in my yoga class could. Four and a half years on and five different kinds of physiotherapy later (the first physio called me a ‘ragdoll’), I’ve had no such luck.

Put simply I want to be stronger. Still unclear as to when, I am assured it will happen, my body just needs more time.

I have learned that to thrive with chronic illness, you need resilience by the bucket load, the patience of a saint and a healthy dose of realism or as I call them the building blocks for successful self-management.  It’s perfectly ok to want to be optimistic but in combination with chronic illness this often leads to disappointment and I’d rather not set myself up for another fall.

For me self-management is about doing the things I want, and need, to in a way that works for me (mostly in the afternoons).  I think there’s a reluctance to embrace self-management techniques given the use of the word ‘self’. As if it means going it alone and being cut off from any future medical assistance.

Only it’s not like that at all. I wouldn’t have had the first clue about what I should be doing had it not been for the various appointments I attended first. Medical management has a very important role to play. But when our health services are stretched to bursting, I completely understand and fully support a move to promote self-management after initial intervention, especially in the absence of a cure.

With the right mix of people, medicines and a little self-belief, life goes on. And thankfully my last physio assured me I was doing very well all things considered!”

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