I hear it again and again that belief in something got a patient through a difficult situation. So I wanted to step back and take a chance to write about this topic. Both belief and hope are powerful tools to mentally work through chronic illness and they aren’t topics I often touch on either. I believe that both of these emotions play a crucial role in patient recovery times and getting them back to a normal life.
Belief is an interesting topic because religion and such, belief in a creator or some being is proven to help patient morale out. I personally don’t believe in a creator which is why I might be fighting such a hard battle mentally, but I don’t put down or dislike those who do pray for me and others. I believe prayer is a great thing and really raises a patient’s spirits, even my own morale being non-religious is raised by those that do pray for me. So knowing how much it helps me I cannot even imagine others who have a true belief in a god. The point is knowing people care really makes a huge difference in one’s mindset when battling chronic illness.
Hope is something many of us give up on way too early on in treatment, for example I’ve at times lost hope that I’ll ever be out of pain especially the migraines, but there really is still lots of hope. I have hope now for the SPG blocks and CGRP studies that are taking place as both of those may be options for me to grasp onto and push for with my headache specialist. I haven’t lost hope for getting remission with my Vasculitis and that is hard because I’ve gone terminal, but I have tons of hope for clinical trials. In fact I hope to find one soon for my extremely rare 1 in 1.5 million diagnosis. Hope is a powerful weapon in the arsenal of a patient and one needed to combat the intense feelings of depression that can be overwhelming for someone in chronic pain. I can say this because I live it and my level of hope changes day to day but I know to grasp on to any last bits of hope I can as it is one of the few good emotions we chronically ill can feel at our worst moments. Hope is a necessity and something that patient need to help each other hang on to!
Rarely do I write about emotions, prayer, belief, and hope. In fact I’ve only done so before really in my poetry. I’m glad to be getting this out though because more people need to know it’s ok to have you levels of hope and belief changing constantly as you go through all the doctor’s appointments and all the pain both physical and emotional. I’d like to thank everyone for reading and dedicate this article to my infusion unit roommate named Concetta. She really inspired me with he talk and laughter today despite her cancer and going through chemotherapy. She seems to be tough woman and is a local advocate for people suffering her disease. From what I hear she inspires many at her job and at home so I was quite happy to meet someone so happy and outgoing as I today! Thank you for reading and keep your hope and belief going so long as it keeps you happy!