She's right. It's a marathon. Image found on Wikipedia.
Autoimmune Gal has penned yet another excellent post entitled Coping With Patient Burnout in which she focuses attention on an issue too often overlooked -- the heavy burden chronic disease patients carry when they realize the implications of a lifetime of managing their health:
There is a new kind of burnout that I fear the medical profession has failed to realize. What about patient burnout? We're always hearing concern about physician fatigue and quality of life--and that the medical system, its administrative burdens, and payment system has created an untenable situation for physicians. But what about how this impacts the people the health profession is intended to help and serve? Patients, especially those like many readers, who require constant care.Continue reading here. She goes on to list six specific things that she tries to do to ease some of the mind numbing effects of camping out long term in a doctor's office. Here's my favorite:
Accept that this is a marathon not a race. Similar to accepting that chronic illness is a long term battle, so are all the parts of dealing with the healthcare system that come with it. I've learned that even if I try to take care of everything related to my health as perfectly as possible, new challenges will emerge. I won't get a gold star by pushing and exhausting myself to be the perfect and most efficient patient. Conserving physical and mental energy for the long haul is a priority.The author ends her post with this:
How do you deal with patient overload and frustration? Please share your strategies. I would love to post them in an upcoming blog.So. What's your strategy for avoiding patient burnout?