I am so frequently hearing about invisible illnesses now. What does that really mean? Fibromyalgia, Multiple Sclerosis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Depression, Diabetes and Digestive Disorders are just a few illnesses that have been labeled as invisible illnesses. I have Multiple Sclerosis and yes, for the most part it is invisible because no one can see the pain or any other issues that I am dealing with. I do think the most frustrating things I hear are: “You do not look sick”, “Have you tried vitamins?” and the classic “There must be a cure for it.” I want to believe these comments and questions are not from ill intent, but from those that just do not understand.
Honestly, I think the reason why the label of “Invisible Illness” brings many questions to my mind is because most illnesses are invisible. Why does someone need to have skin rashes, walk with assistance of a cane or walker, require a wheelchair or be attached to an IV to be sick? There are many people out there that may be battling cancer, well that is not really seen. Or what about those that deal with Chronic Sinus problems which is also not seen. They may have a running nose or watery eyes, but no one pays attention to that.
We can even take this a step further! What about people who are HIV positive or even have AIDS? These illnesses are not normally seen unless there has been extensive progression, which may cause rashes, sores and or lesions. You could be walking through the mall and pass several people who suffer from HIV or AIDS and you would not know it because at that moment, it is invisible.
What about people who suffer from Migraines or Chronic neck and shoulder pain? Now for the most part this person may look and act completely normal, like they do not suffer from extricating pain several other days of the week, but the fact is they do suffer in pain! During the times when this person does not have a Migraine or shoulder and neck pain, this would in my opinion be an invisible illness, but please tell me if I am wrong.
I do not mean for anything I said to not show credence for our issues, but I would like to be able to acknowledge all the other illnesses that are not visible to the naked eye. I guess I just do not believe those that are dealing with Migraines or other pains should not be included into an invisible label. Statistics state that 2-3 million adults in the United States suffer from Chronic Migraines and 90% of them are forced to miss work because of this issue. As far as I know, Migraines are not in the invisible illness bubble but really should be. Migraines can be completely debilitating and just miserable!
I believe that there is a huge difference between sympathy and empathy. We never really know what another person is going through in their lives, so the best thing to do is always be kind to everyone! We may meet someone who has just been diagnosed with a chronic illness and they are completely devastated, so something we say to them can either make their day a little better or even worse! Kind words can go along way in another person’s life. I always ask myself when I am talking to a new person, do I want to be a positive in their lives and make them smile or do I just not care enough to make a difference? I always choose to try to make a positive difference in everyone life because everyone’s feelings matter to me!
I appreciate you taking the time to visit my site on this rainy Sunday! I hope y’all had an amazing weekend and I hope you are ready for the new week to start tomorrow. I really do treasure the comments you make and I do always try to respond as quickly as I possibly can. I hope you are able to spend the rest of your weekend comfortable and relaxed. I did not want to forget to mention, the picture at the top, “I Don’t Look Sick? You Don’t Look Stupid. Looks Can Be Deceiving!”, is on a t-shirt that I actually have! I think it is a pretty great shirt, but some would probably disagree! Sometimes you have to add a little bit of humor to a bad situation! As always I am sending you lots of love and comfort!