You've just been diagnosed and now suddenly, you're a patient. A sick person.
While you shuffle from doctor's appointments to blood labs to the pharmacy checkout line, you might wonder how to be sick. So you Google it.
Don't Google it.
The internet can scare and confuse a new patient. It might make you wonder if you're supposed to be a stoic warrior or a self-care diva. Should you research every medical paper written about your disease or just do everything the doctor says? Is it wise to exercise or lie down? Tell your co-workers or keep it to yourself? Get a second opinion or stick with the plan?
I'm Jen Singer, a heart failure patient, cancer survivor, and seasoned medical writer for some of New York City's most prestigious hospitals.
The Just Diagnosed Guide to How to Be Sick draws on everything I've learned from 40 years of enduring illnesses, both chronic and acute, life-changing and life-threatening, into one practical guide for the newly diagnosed.
I've filtered it through my experience as a medical writer and translated the medicalese for you.
We're taught how to get healthy. Why not how to be sick?
Here's what you'll get:
Why listen to me?
What others are saying
As a patient, I've navigated some pretty big diagnoses, sat through chemo drips, had pacemakers installed, and snagged the last of the cherry Jell-O in post-op. I've been through echocardiograms, I've seen the inside of numerous PET scan machines, and I've watched nurses search for-ow!-a suitable vein.
I've also read dry medical research papers, watched open-heart surgeries on YouTube (and that was before I had a heart condition), and deciphered the real story behind survival rates on the internet.
I'll share what you really need to know about being sick when you're just diagnosed without scaring or confusing you.