The Educated Patient

Taking a Risk with a Chronic Condition

Taking a Risk with Chronic Disease

When should you take a risk?

I would like to say that I knew right from the start that everything would work out well. Taking a risk with a chronic disease is terrifying. The truth is I didn’t know what would happen. I followed a very dimly lit path for many, many months.  When I began this journey, I was told that no one knew what would happen to me. The only certainty I did have was that what I WAS doing was NOT working for me. At the time, uncertainty seemed like a better option for me than certain disability and uncertain prognosis. I decided to take an educated risk.

Why take a risk?

Months after surgery, my lipomas continued to grow at an alarming rate. Because I couldn’t exercise, I continued to gain weight. It was like watching a slow moving train wreck where I was the engineer and still could not prevent the crash.  Further surgery didn’t seem like a good idea and there was no miracle cure on the horizon.  I felt I had to take a giant leap of faith. Months later, when my health began to improve, everyone was incredibly relieved, but no one more than me. I challenged my body and in response, my body rose to the challenge. In truth, I was lucky that it worked. It might not have and that was a risk I was prepared to take.

Nobody cares more about your health than you.

Your situation may lead you down a different path. You may make different choices than I made and the important thing here is to trust yourself and to listen to the feedback from your body. Taking a risk with a chronic disease is terrifying for your medical team too. Listen to and try to understand their interests, but don’t let them decide for you. They are only one voice at the discussion table and you are the chairman of the committee. Do your own research and take in all information, up to the point you make your decision. Knowledge is power, and the more knowledge you have, the better the quality decision you can make. Once you’ve done your research and made your decision, be prepared to stand your ground and remember that there is nobody that cares more about your health than you. (although your health care team comes in a close second)

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