Peanuts - October 13, 2009


There’s a new post up (The Shadow of the Object) over at A Country Doctor Writes:

… we never “get over” loss or trauma – we just have to find ways to carry it with us in a fashion that makes sense for us…

Coincidence that last week at Musings of a Distractible Mind, Dr. Rob wrote about Anxiety?

An anxious person is usually anxious because they are trying to control something they can’t control.  You can’t control other people.  You can’t control the future or the past.  You can’t control what happens in the country.  People die and get sick, and it is hard to predict when it will happen…


Interesting articles.  Both are pertinent in finding a way to handle a chronic health condition.  It seems like after two years (has it really been that long?) I should have figured out how to cope with the day-to-day stuff that this disease tosses at me.  Loss of health, trying to control symptoms…  A part of me has been thinking that if I check off all the boxes – if I do everything possible – then I’ll finally conquor this disease.  Which, when I state it that way, is absurd.  There is no finite list of little boxes to check off. 

I’m thinking it’s more like riding a merry-go-round.  Maybe I’m going to encounter the same stuff repeatedly, as life cycles around and around and around.

I especially related to “trying to control something they can’t control” since one way I cope with this is by controlling every detail I possibly can.

Knowledge.  Maybe I can’t control whether or not I have this disease, but I can control whether I know anything about it.  It still astonishes me that a doctor diagnosing someone with a  rare disease wouldn’t bother to explain anything about it.  I read every RA book in the library system then purchased the best two (I considered buying a rheumatology textbook, but was afraid that might be viewed as a bit obsessive – but I still might do it anyhow).   I control how much I know about this.

Meds.  If they’re effective, then I’ll feel better.  If they’re not effective, then at least we know that more needs to be done.  I can’t control which treatments will work, but I can control whether or not I take the medicines my rheumy prescribes.

Pain.  There are some aspects of pain that I can’t control.  Some, however, I can.  I’ve learn some options for pain relief, and I’m in control of putting them into practice.

Exercise.  It was 21 degrees when I got up the other day and we had to break ice on the animals’ water.  I’m not a polar bear; that is too cold to go swimming.  Even though swimming would be my preference, I don’t let the weather be in control.  I’m developing an indoor routine.  I control whether or not I exercise.

Doctor.   I disliked my first rheumatologist so much that after a few visits I asked (begged?) my PCP to do the follow-up.  Maybe that wasn’t my best decision ever, but it helped to have some control over not seeing a doctor I didn’t like.  Later my stress level went through the roof when the disease got worse and I knew I’d have to go back to the rheumy.  Once was all I could take.  It helped tremendously when I asked my PCP about a different rheumy.

Controlling the controllable helps.

Edit:  That’s SOME coincidence!  Doctor D now has a couple anxiety posts up, too!

One thought on “Control

  1. An interesting post. I think knowledge is especially important for people living with chronic conditions. I have had doctors who have been unwilling to explain their diagnoses, and then I have had doctors who have drawn diagrams, pored over test results with me, and suggested further reading.

    They’re our bodies, after all. It’s both a right and a responsibility that we know as much as we can about what is happening inside them.

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