Patient Perspectives roundup recent post from patient blogs and are part of the Center for Advancing Health's portfolio of free, evidence-based coverage of what it takes to find good care and make the most of it.
When a reader asks anonymous blogger Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy Do You Ever Feel Like A Burden?, he recognizes the toll his illness takes on those around him financially, mentally, and emotionally, but his answer is a definitive "no."' Here he shares his strategies for unburdening friends and family. "I know firsthand how easy it is to get consumed by the constant needs and demands of my disease'but it's great to remember to give both myself and especially those around me the moments of attention that we all need."
Sometimes the feelings associated with illness are more complex than happy, sad, or afraid. When Kerri Sparling's young daughter asks, 'Whaaas daaat?', Kerri tries to explain that it's her insulin pump. But it's hard for such a little girl to understand and Kerri feels "at a complete loss.'' She writes, "How do you explain something invisible, yet so pervasive, to a little kid? How do I show her that diabetes is her mommy's serious disease, but that it's going to be okay? I don't want her to be scared. I don't want her to be stoic. I want her to achieve a level of informed and comfortable that keeps her feeling safe."
Summer Michele Plum, author of the blog Painy Days & Mondays, poetically describes her emotional ups and downs in Strange Happiness: "Happy. Sad. Peace. Loss. Frustration. Hope. Anxiety...I feel wildly alone, deeply loved, and truly supported. If I hold on tight, I might make it through this war, live my life and still find joy." This emotional dichotomy comes from the uncertainty of illness that can change a patient's emotional landscape, so that a normal test result can be cause for dismay and a cancer diagnosis can bring a sense of relief.