4 STEPS TO UNDERSTANDING A NEW DIAGNOSIS - Silver Lining Home Healthcare
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4 STEPS TO UNDERSTANDING A NEW DIAGNOSIS

Getting a new diagnosis–of anything–can be a real challenge. You might feel like something is wrong with you, or like your body let you down. If the prognosis is poor, you might find yourself launched into a world of “what ifs” and regret. There is no one right way to handle a new diagnosis; today, we do want to provide a roadmap of one way to navigate the next steps. 

1. GET A SECOND OPINION

You want to be sure you have the information you need to make the best decisions for you. That often means understanding your options from at least two viewpoints. Most insurances will cover any visit (even a second opinion) with a copay. If you don’t have insurance, contact the medical network from where you wish to receive a second opinion for assistance. They usually have a social welfare department or advocacy department to assist. 

Don’t Go It Alone

Support systems can be a crucial emotional and mental part of any journey, whether it’s family or friends or a new community. Associations related to your diagnosis often have in-person or virtual options as a means to connect with people knowledgeable. Most hospitals and senior centers have support groups. Find those people and know that you don’t have to go it alone.

Any physician or medical professional should always: 

  • Make sure you feel heard
  • Provide education on your diagnosis
  • Provide resources as needed, based on your health journey
  • Give you next steps (follow up appointment cadence, medication options)

2. UNDERSTAND YOUR TREATMENT OPTIONS AND OUTCOMES

This is sometimes the hardest part, because you may not be a health professional and it can be super hard to advocate for yourself! Create a set of questions you want answered. Your doctor and health professionals can’t help you get things answered if you don’t ask. 

Understand the Medical, Lifestyle, and Natural options that are available to you. Often, care can be found in a mixture of the three! For example, let’s say you have a new diagnosis of diabetes. 

  • Medical: Medication, Treatments, Consulting with Specialists
  • Lifestyle: Dietary Changes (see a Registered Dietitian), Activity Adjustments (therapists, gyms), Mental Health Habits (routine changes, meditation, specific music)

Natural: Using a specific essential oil or supplement, Chiropractor Visits, Massages LOOK AT YOUR 

3. HEALTH JOURNEY GOALS

As you consider treatment options, be sure to look at them with your health journey goals in mind. If your goal is quality of life, then your treatment options may look different than if your goal is survival at all costs. Some diagnoses won’t have extreme treatment options and may require simple lifestyle changes or monitoring only, while some diagnoses will require a large amount of change or time commitment for treatments. You need to know what your goals are and how you want to live your life. 

Consider a living will. It’s not morbid to consider what you want end-of-life to look like; quite the contrary. A living will can provide freedom in accepting that death is a part of life and you get to choose how you want your end-of-life wishes to be honored. Educate yourself about Advance Directives and how they can help your family, friends, and/or healthcare professionals make care decisions on your behalf.

4. SET THE FOUNDATION FOR YOUR FUTURE

Taking the time to set a solid foundation for your future health can be the difference between choice/quality of life and not having it. Well-being is much more than just physical health. Are you spiritually well? Mentally well? At peace with yourself? Able to take deep breaths and see vibrance and light in the world? Everyone’s version of true well-being is different, because we are several billion different people! Consider some key wellness categories and how you want them to show up in your life: 

Mental ■ Emotional ■ Physical ■ Occupational ■ Spiritual ■ Relational

As you strive to be an active participant in your well-being, ask yourself:

What am I doing now?  >>  What do I want to be doing? >> How do I get there? 

RESOURCES ABOUND

Need something but don’t know where to start? You can ALWAYS reach out to our nursing team at elite.nursing@silverlininghealthcare.com or check out our Resources page as a starting point. Our nurses may be medically trained, but they’re extra special because of their belief in holistic care. They’re extra special because they care about how you do as a person. And they’re extra special because they are committed to Silver Lining’s Core Purpose: Life to the Fullest

Here’s to life to the fullest,
Tiffany Rubin, Governing Board Member

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