1. Your health is the most important thing you have. Never take it for granted.
2. When illness strikes (and I am talking about for more than a couple of weeks) you really know who your friends are. And your family.
3. Appreciate every minute you get to spend with your children - even the shouty, grumpy ones. You never know what is around the corner. It could be you, it could be them. Life, health and happiness are not assured. Hug your children and tell them you love them every single day.
4. Even if you eat the healthiest diet, do lots of exercise and go for
regular de-stressing activities like massage, it won't stop something
from happening to you out of the blue. Go figure.
5. Making a superhuman effort to get on with things is actually better than "resting". Resting gives you too much time to think.
6. The problem with 5) is that everyone, including your initially concerned friends, will assume you feel better because you are not moaning on about your problems any more,
7. This only leads to more feelings of isolation.
8. Doctors are not God. Even the one you are married to. They cannot fix everything with a pill. The drugs don't always work, and sometimes cause more problems.
9. Even the strongest marriage can be put under strain by chronic ill
health. It is impossible for one partner to really understand what the
other is going through (especially when you don't have a diagnosis). And there is pressure on both of you.
10. It is irritating when everyone tells you that you are brave and "I don't know how you manage". The fact is, you have to. You just have to deal with it.
11. Everyone knows a new chiropractor, physiotherapist, acupuncturist, dietician or some other guru whom you absolutely HAVE to see. You know they are trying to be helpful, but at a certain point you just don't need any more suggestions Also, some people will almost act offended if you don't try their person - as if you aren't helping yourself. This makes you feel guilty.
12. Empathy is what you need most. Not sympathy as such, but empathy. Like when your neighbour comes up and tells you she has been going through terrible insomnia due to toothache, and now she understands how much you must be going through after four months of this. You appreciate those moments.