How are hearing loss, diabetes, arthritis and asthma similar? They are all chronic health conditions. A chronic health condition is one that lasts more than 3 months and is generally progressive. So how do chronic health conditions affect us? The physical changes are the most obvious. What’s not so obvious is what happens to our self-image. We are no longer the same. How do we cope with our new normal? Does this diminish us? Do we feel embarrassed? Do we withdraw from our family and friends?
Or do we give ourselves permission to grieve the old me and learn to care for the new me. Recognize that it takes energy to manage a chronic condition and then engage in activities that strengthen and renew us. Stay connected to family and friends, learn new communication strategies (take a class), keep physically active, eat well, get plenty of sleep and try meditation. Who knows the new you might just surprise you!
Guest post by Lorraine Moulding, Peer-to-Hear Coordinator. Recognizing that hearing loss is a chronic condition, the Peer-to-Hear Mentoring program matches adults dealing with the daily challenges of hearing loss, with someone who has walked a similar path and now wants to offer support.