Coping With Illness and Setbacks

SetbacksThere are many setbacks we have to face when coping with illness. While in hospital we are encouraged to be fully involved with physiotherapy to ensure that we are mobile and able to physically function as well as possible. But there are times when we just cannot get the strength or energy to complete the exercises as we should.

I remember when I had to walk up three ‘pretend’ stairs as part of my physiotherapy. I managed well a couple of times but the next time I had to try, I just could not do it. It would have been easy for me to become depressed by this setback, but I just looked at it as having a bad day and I wound be OK the next day – and I was.

When you get home and are rehabilitating, there are numerous setbacks you will have to face. Now you are in a situation where there are others with needs and because of your previous ability to assist them, you will feel obligated to try to again, especially if you have children. In my case I was the carer for an elderly parent who has dementia and she needed to have her meals prepared and was a very demanding mum.

My husband, who was so very thoughtful and caring, had a chronic back condition which forced him to become bedridden at a time when I was still weak and vulnerable. Coping with the needs of my family certainly was a setback for me in the recovery from my illness.

Even after my recovery was well established I still suffered setbacks. When I wrote my book ‘Thank God I Had a Stroke’, I needed to promote and sell it. Being on the pension, it was a real effort to get together sufficient money to take part in a Mind Body Spirit Festival, but I did manage. The festival went for over four days and I wondered if I would physically be able to cope. My husband was in a wheelchair and was to have surgery the day after the festival concluded to have a full knee replacement.

Somehow, when I was packing everything back in the car on that last day (including the wheelchair, stands, banner etc. I managed to lose the money tin with all our float and money from the sale of my book. Losing that $1000 was a real setback that I had to work hard to overcome.

But regardless of how bad the setback seems at the time, the only way to cope is to remind yourself of what you have been able to achieve while coping with your illness and strive to move forward as quickly and as fluently as possible. The good news is that the setbacks will be forgotten in time; it is the accomplishments that you will remember! 

Hints and Tips

When packing up from a hotel, hospital or a festival ALWAYS look around you and make sure you have not forgotten anything. If possible, get someone else to check too. You may be anxious to leave, but the few extra minutes it takes to check the space you have been in can make all the difference to experiencing success or setbacks.

28 thoughts on “Coping With Illness and Setbacks

  1. Nicky Evans

    You write with such compassion and always seem to keep others in your mind while you yourself are recovering from such a devastating illness. I really appreciate all your honest opinions and love your style of writing about your experiences. Your positivity just shines through in all you write. Thank you for sharing your journey and experiences!

  2. monaug5

    This is a truly insightful blog post and is one that i am looking to learn from in regards to illness.

  3. Lisa Perkins

    I believe with all the setbacks along the way in my Father’s recovery, I think our whole family could write all of our perspectives of our different experiences along the way!!! After all of us reading your book, you definitely covered everyone’s thoughts, feelings, worries, etc. in such a positive and humorous way!!!

  4. Wendy Mitchell

    This is so true. There are things that I can no longer do, like craft shows. I didnt let that stop me from continuing my business from home. I just pace myself and find I am still able to provide my customers much of the same things I did doing craft shows.

  5. Gary R

    When dealing with any type of disabling or long-term illness certain times of discouragement can over come into play causing you to lose confidence & faith. I try to maintain my focus to the best of my ability so that I stay disciplined & not falling off course. This way I can achieve my goals!

  6. Jordan Beeker

    No one said the road to recovery is easy I agree that the ‘maintenance’ part is just as difficult. The day-by-day attitude is the way to go. All the best and congrats on your current (and future) victories! 🙂

  7. sarah milan

    I think the moral of the story is to be mindful of situation at all times and take your time. We’re in such a rush nowadays, it’s always a good reminder to just take a minute and look around.

  8. Ana B.

    Great advice: yes, always double check before you leave a hotel! I’ve lost many cherished items because I wasn’t careful about this and it was too late to go back or the items couldn’t be found.

  9. Debbie Boulier

    Setbacks are often disheartening and unfortunately do happen. It’s hard but you have to try and “pull up your socks” and keep going. Sometimes it makes you prepared if another one comes along.

  10. Chris W.

    I agree that setbacks can be frustrating. I, too, have had my share over that years, but I feel that they have all helped me become a better person. You are right. You forget the setbacks over the years and remember your achievements.

  11. Jenny McKnight

    I have had to deal with minor and major setbacks with my illness. It’s frustrating but I know that each time I’m getting a little bit closer to the finish line. It’s good to know that these trials can make us better people.

  12. Jane

    A lot of us tend to view setbacks as something negative. It does not have to be the case. Yes you can sit there and do nothing about the situation or you can view it as a positive. There is a lot to be learnt from negative situations.

  13. caitlin

    Excellent article. I enjoy reading about your experiences. I find your positive attitude and your strength very uplifting.

  14. sam

    I suffered a head injury and had a great deal of set backs from recovery but I strived to better myself. This is a fascinating blog and I am very glad I got the chance to read it. You are an amazing person.

  15. jason

    Make sure your family and friends check the room with you. You will be very excited to leave, the last thing you want to do is make a return trip for a lost item!

  16. Rene

    Oh Gosh, I couldn’t agree more. I once left a pair of shoes in a hotel room. I sure wished I had I double checked the room before I left!

  17. MBW

    I feel for you on this one. Finishing my first book set me back nearly 2000$ and I was very depressed for awhile, but when I looked at what I had accomplished it definitely seemed worth the pain and agony of losing to make a huge gain!

  18. Robert

    It’s better to spend time preventing these setbacks to make sure they don’t occur in the first place.

  19. rose

    You are such an inspiration. I am glad to see you cope so well with the setbacks you have faced. May you continue to move forward in such a great manner. Thank you for all the wonderful words you share with us.

  20. bricetester

    You are a very strong person. It is amazing to read what you have been through and how you over came this.


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