Thursday, January 31, 2013

Loneliness impacts the human body like physical stress

Many Cushies long for a unflinching, strong, support structure that won't let us fall down while we are sick. I believe, actually, that any person facing medical hardships and uncertainty in health revert to a scared person whose best chance to thrive is with many hands to hold. 

Cushies know that many of us do not have these support systems in place. We cry and wish it were different. We reach out for help, and help is not given. Everyone has their own life to live, even parents, siblings, and friends, and maybe that makes stopping to really help and get involved with a sick person difficult. Time has run out for all families.

I just learned that:

 "Loneliness impacts the human body 
      like physical stress."

I was shocked. I often feel forgotten, lonely, isolated, due to hormonal
imbalances but all the lack of community
support. I cried. How will we ever win? 

The Cushing's destroys every aspect of our lives, and people around us get compassion fatigue. After six years with little patient improvement ( prognosis: negative, for the Seinfeld fans), it is difficult for most to stay involved. Their compassion fatigues and their care can runs out of gas.

After reading this article, I'd like to take a moment to say:

It is not my fault I am sick.

It is not my fault I have reoccurring  tumors in my brain and that I am now facing a third surgery in hopes of beating Cushing's.

It is not my fault that I am no longer the worker, friend, wife, daughter, cousin, sister or aunt that I once was, and that you all still want me to be. I have mourned the loss of my self and my spirit every day since from March 2007, when I first discovered my Cushing's diagnosis. That has been 2,160 days of loneliness.  I also mourn my loss of being about to be the kind of friend and family I had been previously. That guilt creeps in, too. In the end, though, I remain lonely and forgotten.

-- Loneliness impacts the body like physical stress. 

-- Cushing's patients have excess cortisol, which hampers all efforts to control and regulate stress.

-- Lack of emotional support leaves Cushies lonely.

-- Loneliness becomes another source of stress that a Cushie's bodies can not process.

Poor support systems actually lower a Cushie quality of life when Cushies feel isolated, lonely, and forgotten.


I'll be blunt. If you are not involved in the support or care of your Cushie loved one, you are contributing to their loneliness, and hastening their deaths. 

On the Cushie's death certificate, it could say "primary cause is Cushing's; secondary cause of death is loneliness."

Now what steps will you take to make sure your Cushie doesn't feel forgotten, isolated, and lonely?

Call and ask. Call and care.