Chronic
Caregiving QuestionsChronic
How does one cope when one is the full time caregiver of a spouse with a chronic illness?

How does one cope when one is the full time caregiver of a spouse with a chronic illness?

I asked a friend, Nancy, to respond to this question and also to describe some of her daily challenges:

The “uneventful everyday” is a mixed blessing when caring for a person with a chronic illness, in my case caring for a person with Parkinson ’s disease (PD). One person described living with PD was like trying to drive with the brakes on.

Chronic
Start With Compassion

Start With Compassion

This spring, in the days prior to and especially following knee-replacement surgery, I was asked several times a day, “How would you rate your pain on a scale of 1-10?” Frequently, pained by uncertainty, I would respond with a mocking precision that puzzled the questioner. “3.63,” I’d say confidently, pausing for effect, “but I’ll leave it to you round off that number for your charting.”

Chronic
Chronic Pain?

Chronic Pain?

After I'd been out of commission for a few months, my pastor made a passing reference to "these chronic conditions." I corrected him—my condition wasn't chronic, it was just slow to abate. Now, five years on, I still don't know what to call my dis-ease and wonder whether I will ever feel “normal” again. But my dictionary defines chronic as "persisting for a long time," and there's no denying it's been a long time.

If I resist the word "chronic," I hesitate to claim "pain" as the problem. I've told doctors often that I don't really have pain. Rather, various discomforts and malfunctions, sometimes manageable, sometimes incapacitating, have wreaked havoc with my life and expectations.

Chronic
My Constant Companion

My Constant Companion

After I'd been out of commission for a few months, my pastor made a passing reference to "these chronic conditions." I corrected him—my condition wasn't chronic, it was just slow to abate. Now, five years on, I still don't know what to call my dis-ease and wonder whether I will ever feel “normal” again. But my dictionary defines chronic as "persisting for a long time," and there's no denying it's been a long time.

Chronic
A Hurtful Label

A Hurtful Label

After I'd been out of commission for a few months, my pastor made a passing reference to "these chronic conditions." I corrected him—my condition wasn't chronic, it was just slow to abate. Now, five years on, I still don't know what to call my dis-ease and wonder whether I will ever feel “normal” again. But my dictionary defines chronic as "persisting for a long time," and there's no denying it's been a long time.

Chronic
When Pain Takes Over

When Pain Takes Over

After I'd been out of commission for a few months, my pastor made a passing reference to "these chronic conditions." I corrected him—my condition wasn't chronic, it was just slow to abate. Now, five years on, I still don't know what to call my dis-ease and wonder whether I will ever feel “normal” again. But my dictionary defines chronic as "persisting for a long time," and there's no denying it's been a long time.

Chronic
Adjusting To Chronic Pain

Adjusting To Chronic Pain

In 1973, I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and—unbeknownst to me—fibromyalgia, two chronic diseases with no known cure. I had guessed that the RA diagnosis was coming because I had been having symptoms for the previous nine months. Fibromyalgia was unknown territory and did not even have a name until 1981.