We’ve all learned about the Five Stages of Grief. (Kubler-Ross, 1969) I recently read an article
how this works with chronic pain, but now I can’t find the article again. I apologize to the author.
If you know the author, please let me know and I will give them credit for and link to their article.
The author was saying how when we get chronic illness, we grieve. Honestly, I’ve read this
type of thing before. When we grieve over any loss in our lives, we usually follow this 5-step
pattern of grieving. It’s how we as humans cope with loss: denial, anger, bargaining, depression,
I know that when I learned of my Ehlers Danlos diagnosis, I went through these stages and
came to accept the illness that I would have to live with forever. Accepting this awful and
degenerative illness was not easy, but I had no other choice.
Then came the other diagnosis’s, such as Mast Cell disorder. And, then there were all the hopes being
dashed when medicines didn’t perform as expected. The realization that the 5 Stages of Grief can begin
once more is overwhelming. I can’t even tell what stage I’m in, because I’m so tired. One medicine
makes me dumb and my pain medicines aren’t doing enough. Regression is the word of the day to
describe my condition. Headaches daily keep me trapped at home.
Many with chronic illness are like me. We have more than one illness. Not only is this hard to
balance with medicines, doctors appointments, feeling much worse, etc…..but, mentally there are
more issues to deal with. There are more fears: we have different doctors giving us differing
opinions, medicines that may interact or taking too many medicines, so many symptoms that we
feel overwhelmed, and we have a hard time accepting the multiple diseases/disorders.
If you know someone who is living with one or more types of chronic illness, give them a smile and
say a prayer for them. They don’t want your pity, but would love to know that you care. Thanks 🙂