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Living with a Chronic Health Condition

Sometimes change brings unexpected rewards. This is a good time to look for all the ways you can be involved in life. Challenge yourself. Don’t be afraid, or think of yourself as limited. As you begin to see what you can do, you’ll realize just how much you have to offer.

Woman sitting outside reading a book holding her glasses.

Thinking

At times, you may want to be alone with your thoughts. At other times, you’ll want to explore new interests. Try some of the following:

  • If you don't already know how, learn to use a computer. Computers can connect you to a vast amount of information. Many public libraries have systems you can use free of charge.

  • Read just for pleasure. Try novels, magazines, humor, even cookbooks.

  • Play board or computer games.

  • Plan a trip, listen to music, or start a journal.

Doing

Think about what you enjoy doing. Then find ways to make it happen. Your doctor, nurse, or occupational therapist may be able to help you get started. Consider the following:

  • Take a class in healthy cooking. What you learn can help, whether or not you’re on a special diet.

  • Ask someone to take you to a ball game or on a picnic.

  • Go on a nature walk or work in the garden.

Relating to Others

Over time, your bonds with some people may grow stronger while some may not last. As you move forward, keep these tips in mind:

  • Try volunteering. It’s a good way to be involved with others.

  • Be open to new people you meet.

  • Find ways to maintain friendships you value. If you have to cancel plans, try to reschedule. If you can access a computer, use e-mail to stay in touch. Call or text.

Resources

  • American Diabetes Association at 800-342-2383, or www.diabetes.org

  • American Heart Association at 800-242-8721, or www.heart.org

  • American Lung Association at 800-586-4872, or www.lung.org

  • Arthritis Foundation at 800-283-7800, or www.arthritis.org

  • Medicare Hotline at 800-633-4227, or www.medicare.gov

  • Phone book listings in the Government section and the yellow pages

  • To find out about disability benefits and your rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) at 800-949-4232

 

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