An A to Z of chronic illness: Part 4


Welcome to the fourth part of the ‘A to Z of chronic illness’ series of posts.  Today I will be continuing the series from the letter P through to T  and using the letters to find words that describe what it is like to live with a chronic illness.

If you have any suggestions, or comments on the words that you would use to describe chronic illness, then please feel free to leave a message below.




P is for…


Although this is strictly not a real world, it is one that is a popular hashtag on Twitter by those suffering from chronic pain, often as a result of chronic illness.  As you probably can determine from the word, it is used to describe insomnia as a result of being in severe pain.  It is a word that a lot of patients experiencing chronic illness can relate to; and one that I often experience.  Many nights I lie awake in bed, because of pain; unable to sleep, which often lasts the entire night, so painsomnia is an excellent word to describe this experience.





Q is for…


Living with chronic illness can result in a lot of questions.  Questions to ask doctors such as ‘What are my options in terms of treatments?’, ‘Are there any side effects of the treatment?’ and so on.  Then there are questions that we often ask ourselves after a diagnosis, such as ‘What am I going to do now?’, ‘What if I’m left unable to work, what will I do?’.  Living with chronic illness is not easy, and often patients need to make plans for the future, and make contingency plans in case of different scenarios that could happen as a result of the health condition.





R is for…


Many people may not realise but living with a chronic illness is not filled with all bad days of pain, sickness and so on, but very often patients can experience periods of good health where they gain relief from their symptoms.  However, relapses can occur, where there is a sudden episode of severe symptoms.  Relapses can last for approximately 24 hours before it subsides, but more commonly relapses can last for longer; sometimes even weeks or months.





S is for…


I don’t think there can be any other word for the letter ‘S’ than spoonie!  Coined by Christine Miserandino, ‘spoonie’ is a word that describes a person living with a chronic illness or living with chronic pain.  It is a very popular hashtag on Twitter amongst persons living with chronic illness. It is a word that bonds everyone with a chronic illness regardless of the diagnosis; it’s a word that bonds so we no longer feel alone and isolated.  It’s as if the word is now an official club or group in which we feel that we belong; somewhere where we are no longer negatively judged by others; where everyone understands.






T is for…


Earlier in this series, I talked about relapses, in which occurs when there is an episode, or reoccurrence of symptoms.  Often, relapses can just occur ‘out of the blue’ however often, replaces can be as a result of a trigger.  Triggers can include things such as an infection, sun exposure, and stress.  Often it is a good idea for patients of chronic illness, to keep a record of possible triggers that may have resulted in a recent relapse, so that they have a reference for the future of what to avoid.  Triggers are not only something that can bring on a relapse, but the condition itself can be triggered by a variety of different factors.


2 thoughts on “An A to Z of chronic illness: Part 4

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