Preparing to Heal – Its more than just showing up for your appointments and popping pills. Preparing to heal is about a mind-set, about doing everything in your power to be successful in your healing journey, setting up your home, routines, support system, diet and lifestyle factors to promote healing. It’s about ownership and attitude.
When I was initially diagnosed with an incurable form of Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma I was completely overwhelmed. I felt lost in the sea of tests, appointments and procedures, and while I recognized that everything was being done for me, I felt somehow it was being done without me. I felt like a bystander in my own life and watched as my body played the key role in some strange scientific script.
That is until I regained my composure and took back the control. If this were the journey I was on then I would be the driver behind the wheel. I asked a million questions and took with me to every appointment my day planner, address book, binder and list of questions. In doing this the most amazing thing happened, I started to feel better about my new reality, I felt empowered! I dug down and found courage and strength and chose to live my life, no matter how long or short, with a Never Give Up attitude.
Chemo became my healing juice, my home became my sanctuary and I started paying close attention to what I put in, and did with my body.
Whether you’re dealing with a sudden injury or chronic illness here are 9 tips to help you take control of your healing journey:
1. Don’t wallow in self-pity – Concentrate on what’s good in your life, not what’s going wrong.
2. Create a medical details book and take it with you to all your appointments:
• Medical History
3. Create a medical records file – use an accordion file to keep copies of information you need to keep:
• Test results
• Information materials specific to your condition
• Correspondence with your employer if you’ve had to miss work or have a modified work setting
• Correspondence with your insurance provider
4. Organize your home
• Arrange it for ease of mobility and comfort
• Keep it clutter free
• Have a cupboard for all medications, intake schedule and emergency numbers
5. Organize your support system
• What has to be done and who can help you do it
• Don’t be afraid to ask for help
6. Organize your financial affairs
• Will, health care directive, power of attorney
• Compile a list of all accounts – bank, utility, memberships etc.
• Set up automatic payments
• File box for all legal/important papers
7. Learn about nutrition for healing and prevention – eat for life!
8. Exercise – our bodies were designed to move, so even if you can only do a little, do it.
9. Restore balance to your life and lead each day choosing to make quality of life decisions.
Living life to the fullest, with an open heart and a positive attitude, whether you’re dealing with an illness or blessed with good health, is a gift you give yourself and your loved ones. Embrace it!
– Lynda Peterson is a two-time cancer survivor, 20 year educator, professional organizer with Professional Organizers in Canada and award winning author of The Healing Journal: Taking Control of Your Journey Through Cancer, a comprehensive guide and detailed record book designed especially for families facing a cancer journey. It enables the user to keep track of and manage all the information that will suddenly become important in their lives, including appointments, questions, treatments, contacts, medical history, travel arrangements and ‘to do’ lists along with healing strategies, resource lists, a journal section and the author’s own story. For more information visit www.thehealingjournal.ca.