4 things you should do if you have been diagnosed with a critical illness

Written by C Wolsey

Being diagnosed with a critical illness is something no one wants to deal with. There’s an initial shock that comes with this type of diagnosis, which can take a lot of time to recover from, and that’s normal. But you also have to remember that life is not over yet, and there are things that you can do to enjoy it to the fullest while you’re still there. You also have to look at what could happen in case you pass to make sure that the people you leave behind are taken care of. Let’s take a look at the things you should do if you have been diagnosed with a critical illness.

Learn as Much About the Disease as Possible

The first thing you have to do is ask as many questions as you can to your doctor about what your chances of survival are, what your life will be like in the next coming weeks, and what your treatment options are. You need to look at how many times you’ll have to go in for treatment, if there are different treatment options available, and what kind of side-effects and pros/cons they have.

You might also have to do some research on your own. Here, we would suggest that you speak with other people who have received the same diagnosis as you. You can always try to find groups online, but there’s a strong chance that you’ll be able to connect with a support group in your area, even if it’s for a rare disease.

You should keep your eyes and ears open for new and alternative treatments as well. While it’s usually better to go for methods that have been approved, there are some alternative solutions that you could apply on top of your prescribed treatment. For instance, there is strong evidence that things like Yoga or meditation could help patients deal with all sorts of different critical diseases, and if you haven’t considered practicing them, now could be the time.

Learning about how a disease acts could also help reassure you, believe it or not. Knowing nothing about a disease could spark irrational fears in you and knowing more about it could help alleviate some of your concerns.

Write a Will

While you want to be as positive as possible about your diagnosis, you also have to be realistic. This is why you need to draft a will as soon as possible. The reason why you want to draft a will now is because you may lose the capacity to write an enforceable will later. For your will to be valid, it has to be demonstrated that you are of sound mind and free of any delusions that could impact your decisions.  It also has to be demonstrated that the provisions in the will are a true reflection of your intentions.

Note that you can still write a valid will even if you’re bedridden or don’t have the energy to take yourself to a notary. You have services like ELM Legal Services that will allow you to create a will over web cam. Their webcam wills are perfectly legal and will show that you had the capacity to draft one. If you have any questions about the process, you can always schedule a free meet-and-greet with them so they can work out any details with you.

Build Burned Bridges Back Up

If you have grudges against people in your family or a close circle, now would be a perfect time to make amends. Don’t do it with expectations, however. Apologise for the things you feel you may have done wrong and don’t expect them to apologise for what you feel they did. Also, take the time to tell them about your situation and why you decided to call them. Having a clear conscience is very important at this moment and calling people you feel you may have wronged could take a huge load off your shoulders. 

Stay Active and Healthy

Depression is something most people will have to deal with after a difficult diagnosis. But surrendering to it will only make matters worse, so try to at least maintain a healthy lifestyle and not withdraw completely from society. The foods you eat as well as your level of activity will affect your mood, which is why you need to find a way to be physically and socially active if you can. Whether it means taking up a hobby, looking for low-impact exercises, or doing volunteer work, try to find ways to still see people and get your blood flowing as long as it does not worsen your condition.

These are all things you’ll need to do if you want to get through this tough episode. Be realistic but never give up and try to build a strong support network around you.