My approach to HAE care routines is ‘one thing at a time’

Trying to do too much inevitably leads to burnout

Danita LaShelle Jones avatar

by Danita LaShelle Jones |

Share this article:

Share article via email
banner image for Danita LaShelle Jones' column,

I put down my phone in mild frustration. Like many people around this time of year, I’m trying to practice healthier habits in my daily routine. Yet, the app I downloaded was hindering my ability to do so.

I have a list of what I refuse to call resolutions, some of which include being healthier, spending more time away from my phone, or filing work ahead of deadlines so that my editors won’t be stressed. I created tasks to hit the ground running and take on the first day of the year with enthusiasm!

But the app I’m using to keep track of a new and improved me wouldn’t let me put in my laundry list. In fact, when I tried to put in a new task, it simply returned an error message that read, “Complete this for three days before you enter your next goal.”

Recommended Reading
A variety of oral medications are scattered alongside two prescription pill bottles.

Treatment satisfaction higher in patients switching to Orladeyo

“How ridiculous,” I thought. But then, I was reminded of a conversation with a trainer at the gym a few weeks ago.

When talking about the new year, I gently teased my trainer about how many people would be at the gym the first week of the year. He chuckled while simultaneously grimacing.

“It’s great for my pockets,” he said. He usually gains most of his clients in the first week of January. “But it wears off. Most people try to do too much too soon.”

That was it! Between my trainer and what I now deem to be a brilliant app, I rediscovered something I had already known.

‘Let me do something!’

When our oldest daughter, whom we lovingly nicknamed Ladybug, was diagnosed with hereditary angioedema (HAE) in 2021, I made the grave mistake of trying to take on everything all at once.

I exclusively gave her emergency medication infusions when she needed them, drove her to all of her doctor appointments, gave her preventive injections, documented all of her symptom flares by hand, ordered her new medications, spoke with nurses and pharmacy specialists, stayed with her during every hospitalization, packed her hospital bags, made the phone calls to schools when she was sick, and tried to maintain a semblance of normalcy with our other children.

“Let me do something!” my husband, Paul, said one day. He had been offering his help for quite some time, to no avail. “If you don’t, you’re going to burn out fast.”

While I’d love to say that I listened to him because I knew he’d be correct, of course, I didn’t. And as predicted, I burned out quickly. By April 2021, after my husband sent me on a three-day “Mom-cation,” it dawned on me that too much, too soon, leads to failure.

Today, I know it’s OK if my husband gives Ladybug her preventive shot or if he orders new medication. The world won’t end if the house isn’t “normal” when Ladybug isn’t having a great week. Sometimes it’s all right if I get only the most important thing done with her HAE treatment. Doing one thing now and being able to do more the next day is better than doing everything today and nothing tomorrow.

So, yes, I completed my one goal for three days on my new app. And after it congratulated me and finally let me add new tasks, I added only one more thing.

One of my favorite quotes by 19th-century novelist J.G. Holland observes that, “There is no royal road to anything. One thing at a time, all things in succession. That which grows fast, withers as rapidly. That which grows slowly, endures.”

Here’s to a year of building healthier, one-thing-at-a-time goals.

Note: Angioedema News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Angioedema News or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to angioedema.


Leave a comment

Fill in the required fields to post. Your email address will not be published.