Informational Articles

Living with an Invisible Illness

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by:  Aimee Reese

Living with an invisible illness is probably the hardest thing I have ever had to do in my life.  When you have a cold it goes away.  When you have the flu it goes away.  When you have the chicken pox it goes away.  Everyone also knows you have those as they are visible.

What happens when you have an illness that nobody can see and you are the only one that can actually feel it?

That is what I deal with on a day to day basis.  I suffer from Fibromyalgia a chronic illness that nobody really knows what causes it or what really to do for it.  Doctors are just now starting to actually believe it exists, but they still really don’t know how to treat it.

There is no cure, there are only ways that you can prevent yourself from having a flare up and those really are up to the individual.  Not only is the actual pain that you feel throughout your body hard but emotionally it hurts.

Emotionally is where we need the most support as we deal with society looking at us and judging us because they cannot visibly see what we are truly dealing with.  When parking in a handicap spot with an actual handicap sticker you are looked at as though you have committed a crime.

When you have an emotional support animal with you due to they keep you calm so you don’t stress out and cause a flare up people look at you like you are just trying to get your pet on the plane for free.

It is how people look at you and treat you that is the hardest.  It is when your family and friends don’t support you that is the hardest.  Living with an invisible chronic illness is something that is heartbreaking, emotionally draining, and painfully real.

We need as much support as we can get as staying positive is probably the hardest thing to do.

I have been living with Fibromyalgia for over 5 years now.  I am lucky in that my family does support me, but there was a time before I was diagnosed that they thought I was just making excuses and that it was all in my head.

I do take medication and I am one of the lucky that only takes two prescriptions and vitamins.  Mentally it can be draining and you can get tired of having to take all of these things just to function each day.  I have stopped before taking all the vitamins and even skipped the RX but that was a bad idea as it caused a major flare up that lasted for weeks.

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