After 20 years of pain, I finally visited an orthopedic surgeon to see what was going on with my aching hip. Not surprisingly, he informed me that I have osteoarthritis and when I get tired of the limitation it imposes, I should consider a hip replacement.

It is a relief to know that I have an option for treating this chronic condition. And it made me feel grateful that the osteoarthritis is only in that one joint, due to an injury, and throughout my entire body. Not all people with chronic conditions are so fortunate.

For folks who struggle with chronic conditions, the fatigue and pain can culminate in feeling as if their condition has taken center stage of their lives. Whether the chronic condition is arthritis, asthma, diabetes, high blood pressure, chronic pain, anxiety, stroke, chronic pulmonary disease, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, obesity or side effects from cancer treatment, it can impinge on a person’s freedom.

Any adult living with a chronic condition who would like to feel better, be in control and do the things they want to do while living with their health condition should know about an upcoming six week workshop called Living Well with Chronic Conditions.

This evidence-based program was created by Stanford University and has been proven to help people who struggle with chronic health conditions. Participants who actively participated in the program demonstrated significant improvements in cognitive symptom management, communication with physicians, and self-reported general health.

Each week, new topics will provide opportunities for interaction and group problem solving.   Participants will find better ways of dealing with pain and fatigue, discover easy ways to increase physical activity, learn about medication management, understand new treatment choices and develop other skills to self-manage chronic conditions. Attendees are required to attend all six sessions and caregivers may also attend.

Living Well with Chronic Conditions will be held at Community Thread’s Stillwater location from 12:30 – 3 pm on Mondays from September 11 to October 16 for a total of 6 sessions. Thanks to generous support from the Wilder Foundation and Metropolitan Area Agency on Aging, we are able to offer the workshop at a reduced price of $15 per person. Scholarships are also available.

If you are not sure if this will benefit you, consider what past participants have shared at the conclusion of their workshop: “In just a few weeks, I got back to feeling better and back to being the kind of person I like to be.”

Another program participant said “After taking the class, my mindset changed.  I realized I’d put my life on hold, expecting to ‘get better.’ When I accepted the fact that I have a chronic condition that I need to manage, I can’t begin to tell you how much freedom I felt.  This workshop was a life-changing event.”

So get empowered in taking control of your chronic health condition. Interested participants must register no later than September 1 by calling 651-439-7434. Space is limited. Community Thread is located at 2300 Orleans St. West in Stillwater, Minnesota.

By Sally Anderson