You noticed something different in your body, you visit your doctor who then took samples of your blood, urine, or tissue for tests. You waited for about 2 weeks till you find yourself sitting in the exam room, alone, and anxious for the results. The doctor walks in and drops a bomb on you…….test results confirms that you have “enter the medical issue here“. Holly crap, what are you going to do now?
Receiving a serious medical diagnose is a common life transition people experience. Hearing it for the first time can be frightening, and shocking but it can leave a person in a panic state as they don’t know what to do next. When this situation occurs, it is consider a crisis in their life. Here are some common concerns people have in this situation:
- How can I tell my family?
- What should I say to my boss?
- Am I going to die soon?
- What happens when I become disabled and can’t work?
- How would this affect my social life?
The first step in dealing with the recent news is to breathe for a few minutes and allow the information to sink in. Next step is to take it day by day in handling this situation. For example, select at least one trusted person (friend or family) to share your recent health condition for emotional support. That person can accompany with you to the doctor’s office to ask questions about your condition. Not only you will receive the support but you will begin to learn about your medical condition which can help reduce anxiety and fear.
Support is needed to get through this life transition. For individuals who do not have family or close friends, they can seek support from their local church, support groups, or individual therapy. Doctors can refer patients to other services to better help with this change such as a nutritionist, message therapist, or an organization that supports individuals with the same condition in common. For example, my college alma mater, Adelphi University has been operating a breast cancer support program for over 30 years.
Dealing with this change in your life takes time but you don’t have to face it alone.