Trickster, Dancer, Healer: Life Lessons in Chronic Medical Condition Management

I’ve checked my wireless continuous glucose monitor and adjusted the basal insulin rate on my pump accordingly for the activity level that I anticipate over the next 2 hours. I change from my running shoes into my weathered, muddy barn boots, grab the halter, a lead, a couple of treats and a dressage whip. The sky is silver-gray this morning as I approach the gate to the paddock, and the ground is wet. I call his name and he lifts his big white head and turns it to face me. The rest of him doesn’t move, just that long sinuous neck. He looks at me for a moment and then drops his head and goes back to eating hay from the flake at his feet. Knowing he will not come to me today, I open the gate and set out across the field to him, squishing through a mixture of mud, shit, weeds and straw that is wet from this morning’s rain, sinking to my ankles at every step. You can’t always have what you want when you want it, and sometimes you have to work harder for it.

The smell of barn swells up around me as I make my [...] continue the story

Do It Yourself Management of Chronic Disease

We can’t manage our chronic disease by ourselves, unless we quickly graduate from medical school and then become specialists. That’s not too likely with a new diagnosis that has an impact on your health. etsy NostalgicLinks However, to take a guess, even average people don’t see doctors much more than two hours over a year. And that may be a high estimate. But even if you spent a whole 24 hours out of your year seeing doctors and other health care professionals, that leaves you with the other 364 days to take care of yourself.

There is one thing I have learned on Twitter. That is that health literacy is the greatest predictor of health. In this context literacy means Grade 8 or better education. I would go further and say that with a chronic disease you need to be able to do even more – you need to learn the medical vocabulary of your disease so that the appointments you have with doctors are as effective as possible. Many of us have likely had the experience of having to wait for the next appointment to decide on a course of action because we needed time to educate ourselves on the choices [...] continue the story