Co-Morbid Chronic Illnesses

Many medical specialists will inform you that having one chronic illness predisposes you to developing another one, or even more than that. In my case, I hit the trifecta of auto-immune pathophysiology! I have been diagnosed with relapsing-remitting MS, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, and idiopathic subglottic stenosis. Dealing with the management of this many chronic diagnoses is staggeringly complex! It is not unlike being an air traffic controller at O’Hare International. Each individual diagnosis requires the intervention of a medical specialist. Such intervention includes scheduling ongoing medical appointments, completing routine forms of bloodwork and diagnostic imaging, and continued medication management. Should symptoms increase in frequency and/or severity, more aggressive forms of medical management may be required, including chemotherapy infusions and/or surgical procedures. Periodically, those who face chronic illness also have acute forms of illness, such as a cold or an infection. This heightens the baseline symptom severity of chronic illness. Treatment for one of these chronic conditions may heighten the complexity of managing the other two illnesses. Superimposed upon all of these challenges are age-related changes in health and wellness. A good friend once shared that God allowed me to develop so many medical problems, since He knew that I could be trusted with their complexity!

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