You know that feeling when you are completing a jigsaw puzzle only to find that a piece is missing?
It’s a devastating moment. Your stomach turns just a little. All that work, all that effort, all that anticipation of a final outcome. A completed picture was the awaiting reward but it’s been snatched away from you!
Trying To Fit The Pieces Of The Puzzle Together
Chronic and complex illness is so often like that. We are given a diagnosis, then another, then another and for some the list continues to grow with every medical appointment. Our medical team try and put the pieces of the puzzle together.
Good progress is made. The puzzle pieces start to fit together. Treatment plans are made and followed with great anticipation that symptoms may reduce, even if a cure is out of reach.
A feeling of hope returns as you feel you are in the driver’s seat navigating the road ahead. Nothing can stop you now.
Nothing except a missing piece of the puzzle.
A chronic illness condundrm.
A change in symptoms, a new symptom, a worsening of symptoms.
A knowing feeling that something is not right. A knot begins to form and tighten in your stomach.
Just like finishing that jigsaw puzzle only to find a missing piece.
The Gift That Keeps On Giving
Living with chronic disease is often referred to as the gift that keeps on giving. Labelling it a gift is a stretch at best but it defintiely will keep you on your toes.
I have a worsening of symptoms and new symptoms. My condundrum is do I “watch and wait”? Do I make an appointment to see my GP or one of my Specialists? Do I go to the ER?
It’s a chronic conundrum faced by so many in the chronic illness community. It’s the thing we most dread. We want to keep things moving on an even keel.
We don’t want to face condundrums, neither do we want to be a conundrum to our Drs or our family and friends. We would love to focus on something other than our chronic health but when it’s all encompassing and ever giving, we can’t escape.
The reality is we will often be in this position so we need to find ways to cope.
I don’t have all the answers. I often don’t have any answers but I do like to problem solve and find a way forward.
Finding A Way Out Of The Conundrum
A way out of my chronic conundrum restores peace and hope.
So I have made a plan and taken action to deal with this latest puzzle:
- Stay calm – I’m doing this by writing and planning. Works for me!
- Make an appointment with my GP;
- Make notes for my Orthopaedic Surgeon;
- Get organised with xrays and notes for my Physiotherapist and Occupational Therapist;
- Don’t change anything to my current treatment plan until I’ve spoken to my medical team;
- Rest and prioritise all necesssary tasks;
- Watch and wait with some of the new symptoms that require assessing. Discuss referral options to new Specialists if needed with my GP;
- Finally…..I’ll go and do something relaxing, knowing that while I haven’t solved the conundrum, I’m back on track and heading in the right direction.
Until the next chronic illness condundrum of course.
If you’re looking for genuine support, care, understanding & friendship, you are so welcome to join my closed Facebook support forum, Medical Musings with Friends . It’s a safe place to connect with others living with chronic & complex diseases, who truly understand the daily challenges. A warm welcome awaits.
I’m also a Contributor at “The Mighty”. You can check out my published articles at My Author Page
I also write @ Blogs by Christian Women
If you would like to read a little more about my journey, here’s the link to My Story