As many of us know, life is full of detours. A detour is defined as a long or roundabout route taken to avoid something or to visit somewhere along the way. As with driving, a detour can cause frustration, angst, and anxiety so learning how to work through a detour is important.
On November 24, 2014, my life took a major detour when I was diagnosed with a brain tumor. I had no warning to prepare myself for this detour and it completely knocked me off track.
Getting back on course has been an interesting journey. The journey has led me to visit places I did not know existed and allowed me to meet people who helped me get back on track, which I am grateful.
In this week’s Nurse Advocate Post, I share 5 tips to consider when you or someone you care about experiences a life changing detour.
1 Ask questions: When you are thrown off course, the best way to get back on track is to stop and ask questions. Find out where you are, and what roads lead to the main road that will allow you to make choices that can get you back on track. Remember when you are lost, no question is stupid or trivial, so don’t be afraid to ask questions as they help you make informed decisions.
2 Follow advice: Since you don’t know where you are, you will need to allow others to help you. One word of advice is to use common sense when taking advice from strangers. Sometimes people are not good at giving advice or only see the situation from their point of view. Use common sense when taking advice from others. Does the advice you are being given make sense to you? Ask a few people what they think, do research from reputable websites and talk to people who have had a similar experience or know the area. In the end, you will make the final decision as what is best for you. Don’t feel pressured to make a quick decision, take your time and be confident in your own decision-making skills as you know yourself best.
3 Critically think: getting back on track can open new doors for you. So take the time to evaluate where you are in life and what your next steps are. Coming back after a life changing detour can give you a new perspective on life allowing you to see your path through a new lens.
4 Expect bumps: when you are traveling a road you are not familiar, expect bumps along the way. Reviewing your goals and what is important to you will help you be able to make difficult choices along your journey. Take time to review your goals and how you want your care to be handled if you can’t make decisions. Taking time to discuss your wishes with your family and friends is important before setting out on your journey. Also, having a living will, health care surrogate and someone to manage your finances if you are unable is important to have in place. Having your decisions and directives written down and available to those you choose to make decisions in your place will make things easier for those who care about you. Take the time to prepare in advance.
5. Stay positive: staying positive will allow you to move forward and get you back on course.
I hope these tips help you on your journey called LIFE. We never know when a curve ball will throw us off course so being prepared for a life changing detour is important.
Photo Credit: I found the image for this article on the web and checked out Cam Taylor. He has a wealth of information for those whose life has been thrown off course. Click here to visit his site and explore the resources.