Would you like to know how to handle anxiety and chronic pancreatitis stress? Having lived with pancreatitis now for over 35 years I know what you are going through. You may be wondering:
- How long am I going to live?
- How is this going to affect my family?
- Will the next meal be the one that ends my life?
- Why do most doctors think I’m an alcoholic or drug addict?
- Will I ever be able to eat my favorite foods again without getting sick as a dog?
And the list goes on.
Dealing with the uncertainty, the pain, the nausea, the vomiting, the lack of energy, and a myriad of other symptoms and issues that come with the chronic illness of the pancreas called pancreatitis can be a real pain the ass.
It can wear you down.
You can become depressed or suffer from anxiety. You could even find yourself having a panic attack or simply that passing fear that engulfs you because of that realization, the knowing your life could end with your next meal.
Dealing with either acute or chronic pancreatitis can be quite stressful on top of the other issues. Anxiety can move in and cause problems as well even to the point of panic attacks.
So how do you cope?
How to Handle Anxiety and Stress? Turn To God
Often when times are tough we need comfort and peace. The comfort and peace that can only come from God. Some of you reading this will shy away and say: “ah hell not another online preacher!”
Well, I’m not a preacher.
Just a guy that knows he wouldn’t be here today if it weren’t for the power of God Almighty.
The God who sent His Son to die for my sins “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life” – John 3:16.
The God who sent His angels to protect me during my worst moments on earth “For He will give His angels charge concerning you, To guard you in all your ways” – Psalm 91:11.
The God who says to “give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.” – 1Peter 5:7.
The God who says: “Be still, and know that I am God” – Psalm 46:10.
When you ask the Lord Jesus to forgive your sins, come into your life, take control and guide you, you then, in an instant, become a child of Almighty God.
Matthew 4:23 says, in no uncertain terms, that Jesus can and does heal the sick. “And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people.”
Does that mean He will heal you?
I don’t know but Jesus does promise: “Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” John 14:13 and …
In the Book of Matthew 6:25-34 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? “Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
“Fear you not; for I am with you: be not dismayed; for I am your God: I will strengthen you; yes, I will help you; yes, I will uphold you with the right hand of my righteousness.” – Isaiah 41:10
As a child of the Almighty God you have the above comforting passages that tell you everything is under control, everything. Knowing God IS in control, that I am protected and loved by Him, Jesus, The holy Spirit and His angels eases my mind and may do the same for you.
Research Pancreatitis and Know Your Illness
BeatingPancreatitis.Com can help with this research process by providing you with information, research articles and resources that may enable you to overcome your condition. Anxiety grows when our imaginations run wild. So don’t let your emotions control you. Instead learn everything you can because knowing more facts about pancreatitis makes you an empowered patient. You’ll make wiser decisions and choices regarding your treatment.
Don’t LOOK For Reasons To Wig Out!
There are midnight horror stories for many chronic illnesses and some people love to tell them. Just join a support group. You’ll definitely hear your share. I’m not perfect. I do my share of bad mouthing what I consider to be incompetence as you may have already read but …
Extreme cases of any type of misfortune are not the norm. It does no good to frighten yourself to death over things that may not happen but it is prudent to protect yourself as much as possible. Nobody has a crystal ball. Just because you read about one or two or even ten unfortunate souls don’t dwell on it because their fate may definitely not be yours, especially if you do something different that turns out to be more advantageous for you.
Don’t Be Led By “Blind Sheep.”
Many people are more than happy to tell you how to cure your pancreatitis, relieve your symptoms, what to eat or not eat. Many do it for money. Others do it to be seen as brilliantly knowledgeable and still others do it merely to be kind and helpful.
If someone is still symptomatic (sick), or had a relative who died because of pancreatitis or they have never experienced the wonders of it don’t be led by them. Take what they say with a grain of salt, nod politely and go on your way. I don’t want to seem cold but taking advice from an incompetent is simply guaranteeing you will remain sick. Bad information can physically harm you which will only increase your anxiety and stress. Choose your information sources wisely.
The Doctor You Choose
Should be well versed in pancreatitis. I mean REALLY dialed in. Most know very little about how pancreatitis presents let alone how to put it in remission. They all have theories. They all choose to diagnose via tests and criteria but few have common sense, real life experience that couples well with their book knowledge.
An idiot genius won’t help you much.
The omnipotent narcissistic won’t listen to you.
A piss poor doctor will only increase your anxiety and stress levels and for doing so they bill you! Your job is to find the guy or gal who knows more than the average cracker jack box M.D. and is willing to learn what he/she doesn’t know in order to treat you successfully.
Those doctors are very rare.
IF you live in or close to a large, thriving city look for a doctor who specializes in the pancreas and pancreatic conditions. The next best choice is a good gastroenterologist.
In order to make your life less stressful make sure your regular pancreas doctor leaves explicit directions with the ER in case you suffer another acute pancreatitis attack. That one step may ensure the ER doctor doesn’t waste time, while your pancreas is being devoured by its own juices, trying to figure out what is wrong with you. In fact you should explicitly ask that your primary pancreas doctor be notified immediately.
Join A Support Group
You don’t need to be the lone ranger. There are other people who share your same diagnosis. However …
I can tell you from my experience much of the advice you receive from support group members will be very “iffy” and even dangerous.
The ONLY good thing I can say about the 4-5 support groups I have joined in the past is that I saw people who were able to vent their frustrations to others. People who KNOW what you are going through.
They probably don’t know how to help you beat pancreatitis, cuz they are still sick themselves but, they do know how you feel. Sometimes being able to vent and hear others who vent the same issues in some way relieves some anxiety. Having people to talk to who have gone through the same procedures and treatments can be beneficial.
Write A Post
Write about your fears, stress, and anxiety.
Write about your dog crapping on the carpet while you had your head in the toilet.
Write about how insensitive your spouse, friends, co-workers or cats seem to be.
Write about your whole experience from day 1.
Writing about what you are feeling and going through is the only reason I can see for joining a support group. If you are having difficulty coping at 1 AM, write about those feelings and get them out in a post. Chances are, someone is going to be out there reading. The Internet never sleeps.
Ditch Pancreatitis and Do Something Fun!
Do something that takes your mind off of your illness.
Start a new hobby or get back into an old one.
Immerse yourself into something that pleases you like shooting spit wads at your spouse while they are trying to watch the news because …
When you get deeply involved in something you really enjoy, like worm farming or driving Walmart employees crazy with pranks, you’ll soon forget your stress, anxiety even an illness like pancreatitis.