A How-To Guide On How You Can Help Those Who Live with Rare or Chronic Illnesses
Living with a rare or chronic illness is difficult to endure and to be quite honest, lonely too. Not many people can fully grasp how that person feels on a daily basis or even understand as it can be quite hard to put things into the correct words. Though, attempting to understand really does help those who have to endure these hardships and really makes one feel not so alone.
Ironically enough, I am one of those living with a rare, chronic illness. I have what is called Adrenal Insufficiency. It’s hard to diagnose and it seems, based on what I’ve read from others online, that quite a few people get diagnosed when they have entered what is called an adrenal crisis in the emergency room. I was one of the lucky ones where my primary care doctor did a bunch of tests (cortisol being one of them) as we were trying to figure out what all my random symptoms were. Most of that was from being allergic to something in my old apartment but we did find out I did not make enough cortisol so I was tested by an Endocrinologist using a few blood tests where it was confirmed I am adrenal insufficient.
What is Adrenal Insufficiency? I will explain this in another blog post as I feel it needs a bigger in-depth discussion to get a good understanding of what it is and isn’t. To make the long story short, I (and others with this condition) basically don’t make enough of the stress hormone cortisol to deal with everyday stresses let alone illnesses.
For those of us who have to endure our chronic illnesses, it can be really difficult. We do have our good and bad days. To help us endure these bad days, we really could use a lot of help.
So based on some lists I’ve read a while ago and my own experiences, I’ve come up with my own list of how healthy people can help those of us who have chronic illnesses. Now, this list is nowhere near perfect but it at least gives a good idea of what you can do to help. Also, asking the person directly is the most beneficial of all. I’m including in this list of items, services that could help, and also a list of what you can help on a personal/social level too.
Please note that services available will mostly depend on where you or the individual lives. Also, I do not make any funds from this list.
- Slow cooker
- External battery charger/pack for phones, tablets, e-readers.
- Tablet (iPad, Android, etc)
- Ereader (Kindle, Kobo, etc)
- Play cards or games (video or board games are fun)
- Video chat using messaging apps like Skype, Hangouts, etc.
- Meal delivery/meal prep services
- House cleaning services
- Grocery deliveries
- Volunteer services that help with various tasks