You've just been diagnosed with a new chronic condition and though you've been pursuing a diagnosis, you're still taken aback at actually having one! Or maybe you've had a diagnosis for many years but something's shifted and you feel like you're back at square one, trying to figure out what the hell is going on with your body. And maybe you're feeling like the world has moved on without you. They can take their masks off and travel, but you're stuck at home, feeling left behind as you care for yourself, not wanting to get yet another illness to add to your long list of health concerns.
Common Challenges & Experiences
This pandemic is especially upsetting for folx with autoimmune disorders. How do you cope with the anxiety and fear that the responsibility for remaining healthy predominantly falls on you alone? Experiencing society's ableism is shocking and draining, especially when you might be wrestling with your own internalized ableism.
Medical System Exhaustion
Your illness is one thing, but the medical system is a whole 'nother stressor! On the phone constantly with medical providers scheduling, rescheduling, waiting on hold, my coinsurance is WHAT?!, waiting for a call back, waiting, waiting, waiting. None of your friends or family understands, or if they do you don't want to burden them even more with your complaints.
Grappling with End of Life
Maybe you have been given a terminal diagnosis, or maybe you haven't but what you're going through has brought the end of your life into sharper focus. You want to confront those fears, come to a place of acceptance, and make the most of your remaining time and relative health. You want to work with someone who won't shy away from the tough stuff.
I myself was diagnosed with Crohn's Disease at the age of 17, right before I left for college. It was supposed to be an exciting, fun-filled time! But instead I had to worry about my health, drive back and forth 2 hours for doctor's visits, and eventually had multiple hospital stays. I began an immunosuppressant medication I've now been on for over 15 years, which brings a whole new host of challenges as we live with Covid-19.
In addition to my own personal experience and insights, I have worked with many individuals with chronic illness and their caregivers. I come to this work through the lenses of accepting what's going on with our bodies, as well as expressing the wide range of emotions tied to our illness. I also enjoy brainstorming and identifying small steps we can take to invite joy, pleasure, and relief back into our complex and challenging lives.
If this resonates with you, I hope you'll reach out below to see if we could be a good fit.