Resilience …

Psychological resilience is an individual’s tendency to cope with stress and adversity and I am very fortunate to have it by the bucketful.

Resilience has been shown to be more than just the capacity of individuals to cope well under adversity it is also their capacity to navigate their way to psychological, social,and physical resources that may sustain their well-being. This blog is a good example of gathering emotional support.

There are a number of other factors that promote resilience, they include:

  • The ability to cope with stress effectively and in a healthy manner
  • Having good problem-solving skills
  • Seeking help
  • Holding the belief that there is something one can do to manage your feelings and cope
  • Having social support
  • Being connected with others, such as family or friends
  • Self-disclosure of the trauma to loved ones
  • Spirituality
  • Having an identity as a survivor as opposed to a victim
  • Helping others
  • Finding positive meaning in the trauma

Here are my 10 tips for building resilience

  1. maintain good relationships with close family members, friends and others.
  2. avoid seeing crises or stressful events as unbearable problems.
  3. accept circumstances that cannot be change.
  4. develop realistic goals and move towards them.
  5. make good use of the power of visualisation.
  6. look for opportunities even in the most adverse of situations.
  7. develop your self-confidence.
  8. keep a long-term perspective and consider the stressful event in a broader context, looking for any opportunities it may bring.
  9. maintain a hopeful outlook, expect good things.
  10. take care of your mind and body, paying attention to your own needs and feelings.

The universe is really pushing my powers of resilience to the limit.

Yesterday one moment we were celebrating how well I was doing on the chemo, (My latest report on the number of para proteins in my blood showed a further decrease in cancerous cells) the next moment we were calling for an ambulance.

Poor Colin has had a heart attack in the past and now suffers from angina. This has got worse over the past few weeks, not surprisingly really as we have had quite a lot to deal with and his resilience factors are much lower than mine. Yesterday his chest pain reached a point that couldn’t be ignored. Colin is quite a stubborn man, he doesn’t like hospitals and is very squeemish even when certain medical terminology are used. He wasn’t happy about calling the doctor and we hadn’t been able to get an appointment when we called the surgery earlier,so he decided just to rest and take more doses of his magic spray hoping it would all just go away. After a short sleep he woke clutching his chest and agreed at least to give the surgery another call. They of course advised a trip to hospital, not only that, they insisted he call an ambulance..

So further drama went on in the Bone household. A quick response car was followed by an ambulance guided in by my sister who responded very quickly to my cries for help. It is so lovely to have her just down the road but I fear we are fast becoming a full time job between us. Kate accompanied Colin to the hospital because my immune system is compromised and it was felt that I was better off staying put. Before Colin had even left the house I had an army of friends and other willing volunteers stepping into action. Bless my good friend Angela, she makes an excellent wife and soon got the fires going and dinner cooked. She was joined later by Sue and Jo and as news spread I could probably have had a house full of visitors ready to take care of either Colin or myself.

Poor Colin kept in touch by text as he was wired up to various machines and had to be a very patient, patient and wait for hours to be seen by the cardiologist. Tests were on the whole looking good but he had a number of presenting risk factors and they weren’t taking any chances so requested he stay in for the night in order to monitor him further.

So hear I lay at 2.30am without my soul mate and only a hot water bottle to keep me warm, reflecting on the previous days events.

Was it the anticipation of waiting for more results, him worrying about our bank balance due to my recent passion for eBay or the 2nd episode of 24 that we had just watched that was the final straw, who knows?

What I do know is the doctor talking to him about angioplasty and stents won’t have done his anxiety levels any good at all and I wonder if he is ok or lying there worrying. He is at least a good sleeper so hopefully he is snoring to his hearts content. We certainly want a content heart!

So what will today bring, plans already made will probably need to be adjusted, I just hope Colin gets the all clear and can come home where we can take care of each other.

Never a dull moment!

Have a good. but perhaps not too eventful, weekend and thank you all for your never ending help and support.