A positive attitude is essential in managing life and all of its' changes, including ones that are unexpected and appear to be undesirable. It's important to remind yourself that even if you are saddened, worried, or angry about an unexpected change, the final result may not be completely negative. Just because it feels extremely negative at the time, it will not necessarily stay that way. Sometimes, what seems like a problem, or even a disaster, could actually be a blessing in disguise. A negative event may help strengthen your ambition, motivation, faith, and emotional strength when all is said and done. The change may help improve the relationships that you have with family, friends, God, or even yourself. Eventually, the change can make you realize how strong and resilient you really are. Changes can help you reevaluate your priorities in life. They may also lead to new experiences, personal progress and success, new connections. The occurring change may not be easy to begin with, may even feel like a let down or leap in the wrong direction. However, in the long run it may help you make a difference in someone else's life or set things in motion to make you healthier or happier. Saying that, sometimes these unexpected changes surprise us. And yes, undoubtedly they may increase fear, heartache, and pain which are all signs that you are ALIVE! Emotions may go haywire - but isn't FEELING something better than feeling nothing? Trust me, I know that it may seem like life’s out to get you, simply because all you might be able to see is the bad, the worst case scenarios, the despair; but try to hold on to the possibility that eventually some silver linings will pop up. Heck, these unexpected changes may actually end up doing more good than harm in the long run.
At least that's what I'm TRYING to tell myself, trying to convince myself of this time. I can't say that I'm successfully achieving this thought pattern at the current moment, but I am TRYING. And well, sometimes that's all that we can do. Hold on tight and try to remain optimistic.
In the midst of changes, current and upcoming, what can I do to actually better prepare myself? What plan can I put in place to make changes and transitions more tolerable?
1. Focus on doing better at living in the moment. Don't make any long-term plans or let my mind drift too far down the road of uncertainties and fears. The worries may be all for nothing. If I cannot control the actual change from occurring or the outcome, why waste energy on what-ifs that may or may not be an issue? Instead I should consider what I do have control over.
Sounds great, right? I mean, it makes sense, would be logical, but is definitely challenging. I admit that I have quite a lot of room for improvement with this thinking process, especially when considering the changes I'm facing in regards to my medical team!
So, how do I apply this advice in my current situation? I'm aware that I'm unable to change the fact that I have to deal with a new home nurse and in a couple of months, a new GI. (Both of whom have been an essential part of my medical team. Both of whom have helped me manage my health, understood my issues, and respectfully and empathetically communicated with me.)
- I need to attempt to resist fighting my response and emotions. There is nothing wrong with voicing my fears, sadness, anger, frustration as long as I allow myself to express the emotions in a healthy way and then take a breath and continue forward in the best way possible.
- I need to assess the situation by gathering pertinent information and evaluating what specific actions I should take to make the transition even smoother. For example:
a) writing a letter expressing my appreciation to help find closure,
b) filling prescriptions prior to insurance and physician change,
c) contact GI early about medicines I need his assistance with to receive insurance coverage,
d) write a list of questions/concerns to discuss with my current GI before he moves
e) attend free online webinars to be better prepared for doctor's appointment
f) meet new GI at final current GI appt to possible help ease the transition
- I need to take a stand for myself by determining what is necessary for me to receive appropriate care, be willing to share (yikes) important information, and be confident that I know myself and am able to advocate for myself better than anyone else.
- I need to stay open-minded, yet still remain cautious, until I get a good feel on how the new members of my medical team meet my healthcare needs. Reminding myself, that they will likely not be as awesome as the dream team I had, but that doesn't mean that they will be awful. Just need to give them a chance and then reevaluate if I believe that they can at least be adequate enough.
- I need to hold on to faith that God is in control and will help me navigate these troubled waters.
_ I need to maintain hope that my current GI will continue to look out for my best interests by choosing who will be in charge of my care when he leaves and by effectively educating my new GI about my medical issues.
3. If all else fails, or if I'm not comfortable with any member of my medical team after giving them a fair opportunity, then I need to remember that I always have an alternative plan available. If my new doctor or home nurse does not meet my acceptable expectations, I will begin to search for a different new doctor and/or nurse. (Without a doubt, I do NOT want to end up having to implement this plan.)
What other choices do I have?
A proud mother, educator, Gastroparesis & GI Motility Disorder Advocate,
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