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100 Questions and Answers About Chronic Illness

PrefaceForewordAcknowledgments one. The BasicsWhat is chronic illness?Who gets chronic illness?What causes chronic illness?Why are so many chronic illnesses difficult to diagnose?How is the treatment of chronic illness different from the treatment of acute illness?How does the doctor-patient relationship in chronic illness differ from the doctor-patient relationship in cases of acute illness?two. Stages of GrievingWhy me?Did I cause my disease?Does my disease cause all my problems or do other things come into play?Is denial a bad thing?Why am I so angry all the time?What can I do to manage my anger?If I'm never going to get better, why should I bother trying?What are the symptoms of depression?How can I manage depression?How do I know when to see a professional about my depression?Why am I having trouble thinking and remembering?Why don't my prayers work?three. Impact of Chronic Illness on Social RelationshipsWhy do I feel so isolated?What can I do about isolation?Why do I feel like a stranger to myself and others?How can I make other people understand what I am going through?How does chronic illness affect intimacy?Should I tell people about my condition?four. Chronic Illness and the LawWhat rights do I have under the Americans with Disabilities Act?What is the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and how does it affect me?What do I have to do in order to get Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) payments?What is HIPAA?How can I be sure that my wishes will be honored if I am unable to make medical decisions for myself?What should I know about my medical records?five. Medical Providers and Medical OrganizationsHow can I get my doctor to listen to me and take me seriously?How can I get my doctors to talk with one another about my medical care?How can I get past the staff at the front desk and make my concerns known to my doctor?Why do I have to see so many doctors?Why do I have to see doctors so often?How can I find a good doctor?Can I fire my doctor? Can my doctor fire me?How can I challenge decisions made by my insurance company?six. MedicationWhy should I keep taking these medications, especially when they have such dreadful side effects?What is the difference between an allergic reaction to medication and a side effect?Why don't I notice any changes when I take my medications?Why does my doctor keep changing my medications and treatment plan? Is my doctor experimenting on me?How can I change the way I feel about taking medication?How can I find help to pay for my medication and other medical expenses?seven. Taking an Active Role in Your Own CareHow can I regain control of my health?Are there "natural" approaches that I can use to cure myself?What is a professional patient?What can I do to manage fatigue?What can I do to manage pain?What is the role of humor in managing chronic illness?What is the role of positive thinking in chronic illness?What is the role of nutrition in chronic illness?What is good nutrition?Is exercise helpful in managing chronic illness?What kind of exercise should I do?How can I get started with an exercise program?How can my mind help manage my chronic illness?What can I do to get a good night's sleep?How can I find trustworthy information about my condition?eight. StressWhat is the role of stress in chronic illness?How can I reduce stress in my life?How can I manage stress that cannot be avoided?How can meditation be used to reduce stress and manage chronic illness?How can I learn to meditate?nine. Clinical TrialsWhat are clinical trials?What are the risks and benefits of clinical trials?How can I find clinical trials?ten. Special Considerations for Common Chronic IllnessesWhat is invisible chronic illness?What is autoimmunity?How are autoimmune diseases managed?What is my diabetes risk?Is there an online tool to check for diabetes?How can exercise help with my diabetes?What is osteoporosis?What are risk factors for osteoporosis?What can I do to manage osteoporosis?How do I know if alcohol or other substances have become a chronic illness for me?What can I do to manage a substance abuse problem?What is COPD?What can I do to manage COPD?How can I stop smoking?What is my cardiovascular risk?What can I do to manage cholesterol?What can I do about high blood pressure?What is obesity?Does obesity increase my risk of chronic disease or worsen existing chronic disease?What can I do If I am obese?What is osteoarthritis?How can I manage osteoarthritis?What is cancer?How can I reduce my risk of developing a chronic disease?eleven. Looking AheadWhere can I find a support network?Where can I find a good support group?How can I find purpose and meaning in life again?How is journaling an effective tool in managing chronic illness?How do I get started journaling?How can I stop myself from worrying about the future?What is an attitude of gratitude, and what difference will it make in my life?What is mindfulness?What is the difference between cure and healing?AutorsGlossary