Tag Archives: choices

A Quick Coping with Chronic Illness Quiz


A Quick Coping with Chronic Illness Quiz

Question 1.

You have had a busy week, worked hard and kept up with life’s requirements and responsibilities. It is Saturday and your family is all out for the day, you are home alone. Do you:

a) Sleep in bed all day and have a shower just before anyone comes home

b) Write a list of all the jobs you need to do around the home and get as many done as possible

c) Get dressed in your favourite jeans and top and head to the local shopping centre for a days shopping, coffee and the beginnings of painful feet

d) Spend the day reading, sipping cool drinks and enjoying the peace and quiet

Question 2.

You have your bags and you are heading home after a busy day at work. Your body is telling you to sit down and your feet are starting to shuffle. A co-worker sees you walking past and calls out in a panic for your help with a cut and paste disaster on a Word document. Do you:

a) Tell them they will work it out, otherwise to redo it, and keep walking

b) Tell them that they will have to find someone else, that you’re leaving

c) Go over and manually help fix the document

d) Tell them the name of someone else who is good at that sort of thing

Question 3.

Christmas Day is approaching and your family, who live in another state, has been asking about whether you will be flying to be with them on Christmas Day. You haven’t been well and you have a long holiday trip planned for after Christmas, which you haven’t really saved properly for. Do you:

a) Tell them you are coming and then find the cheapest flights available

b) Tell them that your health has been bad and that you need to rest before your trip

c) Tell them that it is just one day and that you will ring them, that will be sufficient

d) Invite them to come to your place instead, knowing that they will never do that

Lotus flowers


Question 1.

All of these answers are acceptable, it just comes down to which option makes you feel most happy. All options have flow on effects, especially mental ones, such as the satisfaction of getting jobs done around the home or the feeling of restfulness and centredness after spending a day relaxing with a book, so remember to consider this as well. What will you get out of the action v’s what do you need right now. It is important not to keep thinking over the other options all day with guilt that you didn’t choose them. Choose your option and enjoy.

Question 2. 

The right thing to do here is c. This should be a quick fix to help someone and then you will be back on your way home. However, depending on how tired you are and how much pain you are in, the other options may slip out. Be careful to not let illness get in the way of you being the person you are without it. Checking your inner voice to make sure it isn’t driving negativity is very important and it can be hard to do that when in a lot of pain. If you do slip up, don’t forget you are human and you are in pain and sometimes you can’t be everything.

Question 3.

The problem with this question is that you probably want to jump on a plane and go be with your family for Christmas. However, life with illness means that you have to plan your energy use very carefully. Your body doesn’t care if it’s Christmas Day, your birthday, graduation day, the day you are presenting a proposal to your bosses, your children’s school concert day, the day you leave for a trip overseas, etc. Your body needs rest constantly, in order just to get through a normal day. Be very careful with planning big events and trips. Sometimes you will have to say no to some things in order to say yes to others. Don’t fight it, it is just the way you have to live with chronic illness.


It doesn’t matter. Be kind to yourself.


Chronic illness and a changing self



Chronic illness eventually changes the way you think about life.  This seems to happen bit by bit every day. The speed of this change would depend on the illness severity and the personality of the person.  I actually think I can feel my thought patterns changing. Not only has my body slowed down, but my thinking and decision making has become a lot more controlled.  I am becoming a lot more wary of tension and emotional build up. Some people may look at this and think I am not excited or passionate or involved. I am those things, it is just a slow, paced excitement, if you get what I mean. I also make decisions based on something other than head or heart, but I am not entirely sure what it is. Maybe I have started making decisions based on intuition about what I need?

Here are some thought patterns that become the mainstay of those who manage illness over a long period of time:

– Treasure the small things.

– Treasure special times with family.

– Evaluate what is really important.

– Make the most of every opportunity.

– Make the most of the life you have been given.

– Only I understand what I am going through.

– I have to prioritise my needs over what other people expect of me.

People with chronic illnesses only have limited energy, limited patience, limited effort. Anything too draining emotionally or physically has to be cleansed from your life. Deciding what and who is important and what/who needs to drop by the way side is important.  You have to choose quality over quantity in many things, including relationships. It just isn’t worth it to have negative and toxic people suck the life out of you, literally.

Every day can be a different challenge and this never stops. You try to plan around your individual needs, but this doesn’t necessarily go to plan. Every day is a new day and we never know how that day will go.

Can you feel your inner self changing? What is new? What have you left behind?

Changing priorities- do it!


Why do I put off the things I want to do most?

Like the best part of a meal, say the roast potatoes, why leave that to last?

Why do jobs around the house and start a uni assignment? I want to write. I want to make art. I didn’t get time today. I never get time.

My bucket list has all these travel destinations and activities on it. It’s nice to dream, but when will I ever get to go?

These are problems I am trying to rectify, except I think I am hard wired to dismiss what I want and what will probably make me happy to the bottom of the pile, where it will never be looked at again. There are also consequences to actions that have to be considered. I hate consequences.

Here are some strategies I am considering trying:

1. Flying by the seat of one’s pants

Worth trying sometimes, especially when out and about and things aren’t going so good, ramp up the being friendly with randoms vibe. You never know what may come out of your mouth or who you may attract. However, use with caution, especially at work. If you feel like you are dribbling crap to strangers or co-workers then pull away.

2. Letting whatever happens, happen

For someone who plans most of her life away, letting go is probably impossible. Sometimes just waiting for an opportunity to come your way sends you on a path you didn’t know was yours for the taking. Don’t forget that information always crops up which will help you cope here.

Again make sure that the situation is suitable for this and don’t risk your safety.

3. Doing the opposite of what you usually do

This works great if you are looking for adventure. It’s not a good strategy for work unless you have been stuffing up everything you touch. Remember that you got to where you are doing what you usually do. Is that a good thing or bad? If you say bad, then go for it!

4. Ignoring your credit card balance

This works well if you have a good income and debt will eventually work itself down. You can always justify spending, just think creatively.

This does not work well if you signed up for a credit card and you have zero chance of ever keeping up with repayments, eg. you are unemployed. An alternative is to sign up to some ridiculous deal where you have no repayments for 12 months, then you can buy stuff and return stuff and hock stuff at Cash Converters for a whole year before you need to worry about the balance. After the year is up, you’re screwed.

Think carefully about this strategy before trying.

5. Starting from scratch

Quit your job, sell/move house, convince your family to finally move out, and then start afresh. This works really well if your children are over 18 and capable of independence. This does not work so well if your children are still school aged. It is very cleansing to start again. Don’t forget to get rid of all your “stuff” as well so you start with nothing. One word of warning, be careful about what type of job and lifestyle you change to. Starting afresh as a meth lab chemist is not a smart choice.

6. Committing to something before you’ve worked out how you are actually going to do it

Ignore the feeling deep inside that this may be a very difficult or even impossible idea to achieve. Nothing is impossible. (Except maybe to see Michael Jackson in person, because he is now dead). Choose it and then make it happen.

This works well for travel ideas. Book a ticket, then worry about the details later.

7. Clearing a whole day for a hobby

How good does it feel to focus on one loved hobby for a whole day? I don’t know but I’d love to try. You may have to consider if you have children, you need to get rid of them for the day. I mean, encourage a play date for a day at someone else’s house, or call in Nanna or Pop or Aunty or Uncle. Remember that unless this hobby involves your phone or other technology, then hide it away and ignore it’s amazing loud vibrating sounds.

8. Having a makeover of body, soul, room, backyard, financials, or whatever is desperately tragic and really needs it

Choose one place or part of your life that needs a good shaking up. Activate makeover mode. Focus a shopping trip or an outing on finding things for this makeover and then make it happen. Or you could attend a short course on this with the view of changing it. Go hard, this thing is currently total rubbish so you have to make some brutal changes.

Be careful that you don’t just act on a fleeting manic idea here. Blue hair looks fun for a day or two, but it’s not a good look for job interviews. Be brutal but be smart as well, do some research.

What is it that you want to do?

How about you do it?

And I mean TODAY.

Do it!