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Living with chronic illnesses


Dear Readers,

My mother-in-law passed away in late July of last year at the ripe age of 90, God rest her soul. More than 50 years before this, she was diagnosed with type 2 Diabetes mellitus, hypertension as well as glaucoma. In 1990, she had her cataracts surgically removed with intra-ocular lenses implanted.{{more}}

Despite this, her vision was, right down to her last day on this earth, just as acute, often more so, than mine.

She was an optometrist by profession. Apart from this, two daughters as well as two sons-in-law are in the medical field. This would obviously indicate that she was well informed on her conditions.

One may argue that my mother-in law had the best of conditions to keep herself healthy. However we must not lose sight of the fact that it is still a personal choice. There are many people who, despite the financial wherewithal as well as the knowledge, do not look after their health sensibly, optimally or adequately.

Proof in itself of one simple fact:

With proper and sensible care, along with close monitoring, chronic illnesses or conditions such as glaucoma, cataracts, diabetes and high blood pressure, along with their possible side effects, can be kept under excellent control. Their prognosis, unlike certain types of cancers for instance, can be excellent.

This reminds me of Jack Canfield’s formula:

E(Event) +R(Response) = O(Outcome)

Every outcome in our lives is a result of how we have responded to earlier events.

We cannot blame a disease wholely and solely for our illness. There will be various other factors as well affecting our health, but we need to take full responsibility for it in the long run. Once we are properly informed, our health, good or bad, is really our choice.

Similarly, we cannot only blame the economy, other persons etc. for not personally creating wealth for ourselves.

Various factors will always exist, but the deciding one is ME. I must take 100% responsibility for the choices I make and therefore what happens to me.

We need, quite simply, to change our response to the event until we get the outcome we desire. If we monitor the chronic diseases we may have, we can live for an extended period in a state of good health.

I can still remember the words of this highly independent lady to me: “If it’s got to be, it’s up to me.”

Have a great week.

Dr Kenneth Onu is a resident Consultant Ophthalmologist at the Beachmont Eye Institute/Eyes R Us Send questions to:
Tel: 784 456-1210