Coping with a Diagnosis of LAM
How do you help someone cope with a LAM diagnosis? There is obviously no easy answer to this question. A LAM diagnosis brings extra demands on time, energy and financial resources. At the same time, the patient and their loved ones may be feeling despair, and maybe even fear.
There are several things you can do to maintain a healthy attitude, ease your fear and alleviate feelings of powerlessness. Try the ideas below and encourage your loved ones to do the same:
- Educate yourself. Knowledge is a powerful tool that may be the key to coping with the situation.
- Keep the lines of communication open. Pulling away from others can only add to the isolation you may already feel. Maintaining an open dialogue about the situation will also help to alleviate feelings of fear and anxiety.
- Maintain a healthy lifestyle. Following a healthy diet and exercising regularly can help improve your energy level as well as your outlook on life. Try to find low-impact activities that you and your loved one can do together.
- Review your goals and priorities. Talk about what really matters in your life and focus on these areas. Avoid or reduce activities that are not of importance.
- Try to maintain a normal lifestyle. Modifications will be necessary, but take one step at a time.
- Develop your own way of coping. Your loved one needs you, and it's important to take care of yourself so that you can be there for them.
- Practice relaxation techniques, such as meditation or yoga.
- Share your feelings with someone you trust, such as a religious/spiritual adviser or a counselor.
- Keep a journal to help organize your thoughts.
- Make time for yourself, even if it's just 10 minutes a day.
- Remain involved with work and leisure activities as much as possible.