How can I manage my condition?
If you’ve had a diagnosis of a long-term health condition, such as Parkinson’s Disease, it’s only natural that you may initially feel anxious and confused. A good way to feel more positive and reassured, and to learn how to manage your symptoms, is to find out as much as you can about your condition. This will help you take any necessary steps to address any challenges you may be having.
Here are some of the things that you can learn to address:
The good news is that there are steps you can take to maximise your quality of life and minimize the challenges of living with Parkinson’s Disease. The following strategies may help you to feel more positive and in control of your life.
Understand Your Condition
When you’re living with Parkinson’s disease, it can be helpful to learn everything you can about the symptoms and treatment options. Ask your doctor specific questions about your condition and treatment.
Monitor your symptoms and note what seems to help them or make them worse. If you can keep a diary of how you feel, it could help you and your healthcare team to manage your symptoms. If you have a loved one who you spend a lot of time with, they may also notice circumstances that affect your symptoms, so their input could be very helpful. Your doctor will find this type of information useful for getting a better understanding of how your condition affects you, day to day.
Managing Your Symptoms
Being able to manage your own condition may help you to gain a sense of control and improve your quality of life. Following your recommended treatment is a good way to keep your symptoms under control. For example, it’s important to take prescribed medications as indicated, and attend all scheduled healthcare appointments.
Other daily decisions can affect your quality of life and symptoms. For example, it’s worth taking a look at how you can limit stress in your life. Looking after yourself, by eating nutritious foods and getting enough exercise and sleep may help boost your mood, improve your mobility, and ease your symptoms.
Managing Your Feelings
The diagnosis of a long-term condition can change your life and your plans, and it’s only natural that you will experience a wide range of emotions as you adjust to your new life.
Think of it as a time to take stock, and to remove any unnecessary stress from your life. Try and spend more time doing the things you love. Exercising and stretching can really help, as can listening to music that you enjoy, deep breathing, meditating, and spending time with family and friends. Once you discover the things that work for you, incorporate them as much as possible into your daily routine.
Looking after relationships
Your relationships with the people around you are no doubt really important to you. You may find that you have limited energy which could reduce the time you have for socialising. Some friends or family members may not understand the challenges you’re facing at first. Once you explain to them that you need more rest than you used to, they should be able to adjust, to fit in with what works best for you.
A positive attitude can make a huge difference to your quality of life. Accepting the lifestyle changes that your condition requires can go a big way towards achieving this. It can also give you confidence in your own ability to adapt to your new life.
By adopting a problem-solving approach, as you figure out what works best for you, you can move forwards with your life, on your own terms.
If you would like more support or information, please contact your doctor, nurse, pharmacist or UCB Cares.
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