I have diabetes. My condition requires constant monitoring and a considerable part of my income goes to my food and medication. It’s not all bad though. Living with a chronic health problem such as diabetes, multiple sclerosis or lupus could teach people valuable lessons like:

daughter caring sick elderly mother

  1. Everyone fighting their own battles. Not all health problems have visible signs. That apparently healthy man who parked at a space reserved for the disabled? Maybe he’s not really a jerk, but has a heart condition that makes him easily fatigued.

 

  1. It’s harder for some people to be happy. If you continuously have to worry about your health, all while silently bearing its painful effects, you’d find it harder to keep a smile on your face too.

 

  1. Don’t sweat the small stuff. People with a chronic illness have limited energies, so over time they become good at attending to their priorities. They make the most of what they have and don’t bother about things that don’t really matter.

 

  1. Special treatment is nice, but being normal is better. Sick people are treated more nicely and are often better accommodated. But do you know what would be better than that? Being treated like a normal person – honestly and without being patronized – and being able to do everything you need by yourself.

 

  1. Most people take their health for granted. The Singapore Government has a good system for taking care of the sick and those and need. But if you’re chronically ill, you realize this could be made even better, and you become an advocate for health insurance and healthy living.
  2. affordable-care-act

 

  1. You have to enjoy what you have. If your maintenance medication already takes a third of your monthly income, you spend more wisely and learn to be satisfied with what possessions you already have.

 

  1. Problems can make you a better person. It’s true: what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. (Or at least it’s true psychologically). Battling a chronic health problem makes us more resilient to setbacks because we’re used to life being an uphill battle. We can shrug off some problems that would devastate other people.

 

  1. Some days are just not for you. Healthy people can have bad hair days. Chronically ill people have bad all body days. When that happens, we just try to find comfort in the fact that things will be better tomorrow.

 

  1. We can teach you how to take care of your body. We’re a one-man information drive and awareness program of our respective conditions. We spend long periods of time consulting with health professionals and we pass on the knowledge we get from them to our family and friends.

 

  1. Life’s what you make of it. Any serious health problem or a disability will force you to reevaluate your life and how you want to experience it. Would you just mope around and feel sorry for yourself? Or would you keep on giving it your best and just be thankful for what you have?

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