Handling Sickness When You Have DID

Even with diligent hand washing and a religious vitamin routine, your body is bound to eventually have a sick day. Whether the illness is serious or minor, being sick can pose some unique challenges to those with Dissociative Identity Disorder. As with most things, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure! This article will help your system to know the best way to prepare yourselves for being sick so that you and your system can focus on feeling better!

Communication Will Be Limited

One of the really big things that can happen when your body is sick is that your system may not be able to communicate very effectively. This is especially true of headmates trying to communicate with the fronting alter and vice versa.

Because of this, it’s a great idea to have a plan in place for limited communication. Ideally, your system will have some information both documented externally and memorized internally by everyone. Here are some things that your system may want to talk about in advance:

  • Pre-existing medical conditions
  • Medication allergies
  • Current medications
  • Insurance
  • Preferred hospital (if applicable)
  • Primary doctor’s name
  • Specialist doctor’s name (if applicable)
  • Medical wishes
  • Emergency contact

Your system’s goal is to talk about anything that will make your headmates collectively feel calm, cared for, and in control in the event that the body gets sick.

Important To Take Notes

If your body is going to be taking any medications at all, it’s absolutely critical that your system take external notes. Accidental overdose is a real danger for sick systems!

When we’re sick, we keep all medications grouped together on a counter with a log. We take out the needed medication, document it, then take the medicine. This way, an unexpected switch doesn’t interfere with our recovery.

The log that your system takes will also make any doctors appointments much easier since the doctor will be able to see exactly what your body has been taking and when. It can also be helpful to document any symptoms the body is experiencing and their severity. Anything to keep everyone on the same page!

Prepare in Advance

Being sick is no fun but your system can make it as easy as possible by preparing things in advance. Here are some things your system can do in advance:

  • Stock up on medications your system usually uses (cold and flu, headache, stomach, etc)
  • Store some typical supplies your body likes when sick (tissues, cough drops, shower steamers, etc)
  • Print out a medicine log and place it in your medicine drawer
  • Type up a list of instructions/ home remedies for your body’s most likely illness
  • Buy some canned soups, broths, and teas to have on hand
  • Brainstorm a plan A, B, and C for getting the body’s essential needs met while sick

At a team meeting, ask your system “What about being sick can we handle now?” You and your headmates should be able to come up with some great ideas for getting things taken care of in advance.

Lots of Care Will Be Needed

Being sick means the body will obviously need some extra care but you or your alters may need extra emotional care, too. While any alter may want or need extra care, littles and alters with medical trauma are especially likely to need some TLC.

As best as your system possibly can, eliminate or minimize things that are expected of the body so that there is time and energy for every alter to get the care they deserve. If your system doesn’t truly need to do it, consider putting it on hold so everyone can get the care that they need.

The hands down best way to show some care for your headmates is to simply ask them how they’re doing and attentively listen to them. Being sick can bring up a lot of big feelings so having someone to lean on will mean a lot to your alters. Taking the time to lovingly listen to your alters now will help establish trust later and will make them feel loved now. Win win!

What Next?

Now that your system knows how to handle being sick, what next? Learn how to make a safety kit for your system here or find out how to take care of a loved one in the hospital here.



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