It’s hard to be a family caregiver, but it’s EVEN HARDER to be a patient. In this brief post, we’ll explore what thoughts will dominate your thinking as a patient, the challenges of accepting help, and how to thrive even when you are at your worst!
Being a smart patient can get you a long way in any healthcare system, not just ours. The ability to help someone who’s trying to help you is not necessarily an intuitive one, though it may seem logical while reading this.
Healthcare providers know this better than most, the best ones understand the deep psychology involved in helping someone who many times does not want the help, and if they do accept it, they may do so reluctantly and fighting you all the way.
There are usually three forces at play, the patient, the family caregiver, and the healthcare provider. Let’s focus on you as the patient today…
As a patient, you are vulnerable, feel helpless, and out of your daily routine. The thoughts that dominate your thinking are all over the place:
- “I’m going to focus on getting better and staying positive…”
- “Let’s see who my true friends really are now that I’m sick…”
- “Why me? This is so unfair…”
- “I don’t want to be a burden. Put me out of my misery already!”
- …and a few non-constructive others
By the way, it’s perfectly normal to feel any of these and act accordingly. Any medical condition that seriously compromises you for more than 30 days will have a profound effect on your behavior.
I’m not saying you shouldn’t feel sad or even a little sorry for yourself… it’s human to feel that way. What I’m saying is not to let those feelings predominate or control how you act and behave in the process.
Nothing will challenge you more than feeling helpless and vulnerable, but it’s also a great way to explore a different side of yourself, and how you react to adversity. You also have a chance to let others do what they do best, which is to help people in need, they are experts and are good at it… let them!
But how can you stay positive when you are not at your best?
The short answer is, by understanding that it’s a process.
Also, talk to someone qualified to help, they can do wonders at just the right time!
It helps to also have a problem-solving mindset. Providers and caregivers and constantly solving problems and figuring out how to provide better care. Take advantage of their insight and personal networks.
Smart patients have incredible situational awareness, they’ve gone through the own grieving process, have accepted their condition and are now focus on thriving within the new rules.
Remember it’s a process…!
And even if your condition lingers more than you expected, you’ll recover or at least stabilize, and you’ll have a chance to pay it forward! …Even if it’s by doing something as simple as sharing this post with someone going through a tough time
–Claudio Alegre is the Chief Content Writer for Angel Home Care Services on the Web and Patient and Family Relations Advocate off the Web. He lives in Miami with his wife and 3 boys.
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