Living with an invisible illness can be a challenge. Sometimes, the greatest challenge is getting family, friends, and doctors to take you seriously. Since being diagnoised, I have heard it all,
“But you don’t look sick” or “you’re too young to be this sick”.
I sometimes ask myself, would those same people make those comments to a cancer patient?
Then there are these comments,
“You’re just depressed”, “you just need to exercise”, “you just need to get out more.”
What you can’t see just by looking at me:
- You can’t see that it is taking every ounce of mental and physical energy to keep it together, because my physical pain is so overwhelming, you will see me start to sweat, and look like I am about to pass out.
- You can’t see that the pain in my neck has turned into a migraine, but, within a few minutes, you will see my eyelids begin to shut, to protect my eyes from the light.
- You can’t see that I get lightheaded from standing up, but you may see me stop for a minute to catch my balance.
- You can’t see the pain in my legs, back and shoulders, but you will see me having trouble walking and rubbing my lower back and shoulders.
- You can’t see my migraine, but you will see me wearing sunglasses indoors and out.
- You can’t see that I woke up exhausted, but you will see me yawn and become tired after a few hours.
- You can’t see that I am panicking, anxious, that the bright lights, the sounds, and the smells of a public place are getting to me, but you will see me avoid places, or events, that can give me sensory overload.
We have been considered invisible, because doctors, friends, and family could not see our pain. Now, thanks to advances in medical technology and research, Fibromyalgia is not invisible. Fibromyalgia can be seen on brain scans, has been shown in studies to be genetic and hereditary, and they have identified genetic markers. Just recently, Dr. Oz called Fibromyalgia a disease.
What are some of your invisible symptoms that people can’t see? Please feel free to comment.