Life with a chronic illness is hard. It's even harder when you are waiting for a diagnosis. There's just some relief when you finally find out what it is you are facing and you have a name for all the symptoms you are dealing with. Physically it's no better, but mentally it's infinitely better.
So what do you do when you are waiting for that diagnosis or you are having a bad flare? Do you have a plan in place? Here's some ideas that have helped me:
1. Pray! Tell God you are scared. Tell God you are hurting. Ask Him for strength to face what you have to face. God doesn't cause the pain & bad things you are facing. But He does allow it. Everything you are walking through, He knows about! Everything you go through has a purpose, we just may not know that purpose. Sometimes, it's to refine us, to make us into the person God wants us to be. Sometimes, it's to bring us to God. Sometimes, it's to bring others to God. Other times, it is to gives us some experience so that we can encourage someone else in life. And sometimes, we may never know the reason. Ask God to help you see through your pain to others you might help.
2. Find someone to talk to! You don't have to tell everyone all you are going through, but it helps to have someone to talk to. Keeping everything inside you is not good.
3. Let others help you & pray for you! Telling others you are struggling is very humbling but it can be uplifting too. Having someone bring you a meal or watch your kids for a little while or mow your lawn, can brighten your day & uplift your soul.
4. Find something to fill the time! Read a book, do a hobby, watch a movie. Do something. Don't just sit around a think constantly about how bad you feel or about all the things that might be wrong. Even listening to uplifting music helps.
5. Let some things go. Don't feel you have to do all your housework or even keep doing all the activities or volunteering you've been doing. You need to face the fact that you have limitations. It's ok to not sweep when you feel bad or say no when asked to do something. You can't do everything.
6. Have a plan for those really bad days! Have a simple meal plan, have backup babysitters, have some down day activities planned. It's not a sign of weakness to rest! It's ok to have a down day.
7. Don't give up! That diagnosis will come. This flare up will end! You will adjust! It will get better.
8. Share what you are going through with others. Start a blog. Start a podcast. Watch for others in pain & share with them. You never know when your experience might be the encouragement someone else needs to keep fighting.