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  • Writer's pictureMatthew Preston

Journeys and Stories in Health #1: The Packing List

Chances are that most people have a view that an illness is short, sharp and sorted.

Appendicitis - see your doctor - a scan and some blood tests - to the hospital - antibiotics and maybe an operation - back to normal life in a month.

Even COVID - get sick - maybe really sick - but likely back to normal in a month or two.

Some cancers - operation - chemotherapy and maybe radiotherapy - all sorted in a few months.

But then what about rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, fibromyalgia - the list goes on. You don’t actually get better. Especially for the painful and progressive ones it is a daily different degree of bad - maybe just bad but sometimes bad bad.

You try all sorts of diagnostic tests and all sorts of treatments and protocols. Some things settle a bit or a lot but others crop up.

And then you begin to realise that the medical team seems to lose interest - or is it you that loses interest - nothing really makes a major difference. You are left having to figure out some of it for yourself. It becomes a mind-game. A slog. Trying to figure out a few strategies - sometimes feeling lost.

And the worst is that even your family wonder if it’s all in your head - why don’t you get better with all that is being done for you.

Then there are all the “interweb” articles and blogs and books and magazines that seem to give an endless array of options, many of which are completely contradictory.

So - you are beginning your journey but you are now completely unsure how to proceed.

I don’t have all the answers but in my opinion there are some resources that are worth exploring. Over time you probably need to look at many of them and figure out which ones make most sense to you. Read them. Explore them. And experiment on you. You are the guinea pig. Make notes. Journal. Find what works.

In the next 4 articles I will share with you a curated list of just a few resources that have potential to make a difference to body, mind and soul. You don’t have to agree with me - all you need to do is have a look. Take on board those of my suggestions that say to you - “this is me”. And where there are my suggestions that say to you “this is not me” - ignore them and search for a rough equivalent that is you. Don’t be shy to go down a rabbit-hole and get to a dead-end and backtrack. This is you exploring you - so that’s just fine. But at some point settle on a strategy - maybe write it down and give it a go. Some things will last a week but some will become a lifestyle and although you may not be “healed” some things will be better and more manageable.

Journeys are like that - you start with a plan and roll with the detours on the way.

NOTE: None of these is a cure. This doesn’t mean stop your medicines. This doesn’t mean stop your chemo. This doesn’t mean ignore your doctor. What it means is do this as an extra. And if you feel better talk to your doctor and ask if you can maybe reduce your medication. Don’t do that yourself - you need to be sure that you work with and not against your doctor every step of the way. Explain that you are simply exploring every avenue :-)

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