Invisible Illness?

chronic illness factI 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. you don't look sick

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.

invisible illnessWhat 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 completelyKind word 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!

Love 2

Always, Alyssa

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Snowflake Illness

snowflake illnessChronic Illnesses are like snowflakes because like all snowflakes are so different from the other and each person’s situation with illness is different from another. You will never see two snowflakes that look exactly the same, just as you will never find two people with any illness that experience the same exact issues. There might be some similarities, but there are also some strong differences.

Personally, over the almost 18 years I have been living with MS, I have not met anyone that is dealing with the exact same issues that I do each and every day. Again, there are always some similarities, but they are never identical. I have met in person and through this blog others that are battling the MS fight who have equivalent issues to what I live with, but sometimes what they are struggling with is vastly unique to my own experiences. Even though their trials are something I may have not dealt with, I can totally relate to the hassles that are caused by illnesses!

I believe having the ability to meet others that understand what your daily struggles are in life is so helpful. This gives you the opportunity to learn from someone else, so that if you ever experience something similar you have someone to chat with that truly understands! I strongly feel that there are SO many that do not understand what anyone with an invisible illness goes through on a daily basis. Considering these illnesses are so incredibly unpredictable those living with the illness does not even know what to expect day by day, or even hour by hour. Can this be frustrating? Absolutely! But all of us, no matter what battle we are fighting are winning because of how strong we each are!

snowflakesThink about what illness you are fighting and think about those you have met with the same ailment. Now, think about if anyone has ever had the exact same struggles that you do. Can you think of anyone that is a mirror image to you? I know that I can’t! Most of the issues I deal with every day without fail is pain and some numbness problems. After chatting with numerous people, a lot of them also have the same type of issues but their pain and numbness might be in different areas of their body. We all deal with the strains of our illness so differently and with SO much strength and courage! Y’all know I believe that staying positive is one of the most important ways to beat the trials that come my way! I might have my off days where I feel completely defeated, but that state of mind does not last long because it does not help me overcome the issues at hand!

I guess we are each our own unique and beautiful snowflake just floating through our lives. We do not have to worry about melting from our troubles, we just need to continue to stay flying high above the struggles and we will win!

Thank you so much for stopping by my site today! I hope you enjoyed my thoughts for Saturday and I really look forward to reading your responses! I do promise to respond to you as quickly as I can! I can not explain how much the communications I have had with so many of you mean to me! I hope you are enjoying your weekend and doing what makes you happy! As always, I am sending you all lots of love and comfort!

Love 2

Always, Alyssa

Life’s Challenges

joycemeyer1No one has ever said life was easy and really truly mean it. Life comes with so many challenges along the way and many are unforeseen. There may even be times when things get so difficult you just want to give up and stay away from the outside world! It is so important that even during the most grueling times in life to stand up straight and strong, knowing you are fighting a true battle with nothing but courage!

I think sometimes facing our fears is the hardest thing to do. We all have something we are afraid of whether it be moving to a new city, changing career paths, progression of an illness or something as simple as riding a terrifying ride at the amusement park. No matter how minor or major  the fear is, it is real and frightens us. 

Most of the time life is really like riding a roller coaster without the option to slow down at all. There are so many upward hills that are followed by  steep downhill falls that can95263-Life-Is-Like-A-Roller-Coaster completely take your breath away. Then there are the twists and turns that you do not see coming until it is too late and all you can do is hold on tight and hope for the best outcome. 

It may be hard to believe sometimes, but life always has a way of working out the way it is meant to. I might have been dealt a bad hand with being forced to live with Multiple Sclerosis, but I have been blessed with so many other fantastic aspects of life. Even though I deal with a lot of pain everyday and there are somethings I have to sit out of my husband is always extremely understanding and supportive. 

I hope y’all are having an amazing and enjoyable weekend. Considering my pain levels have been very high recently, I am taking it very easy this weekend trying to rest up so that I feel better for next week. 

I want to thank y’all for visiting my site today. I always appreciate you reading my thoughts and I love being able to read your comments. If you have any questions about the different medications I have some experience with or the different things I have been through with MS, please let me a comment and I will be happy to answer in my next posts! Sending y’all lots of love and comfort always!

Love 2

Always, Alyssa

A few days MIA

Bright weekI have not made a post in a few days because sometimes life just gets too chaotic and it is hard to do the things I want to do. Life’s obligations can get in the way of good and fun times. Now whether it be work or household chores they all get in the way of leisure times. I know once I get home from work I am exhausted and do not feel like doing much of anything. Granted my job does only consists of being at a desk and most people would think that is not very tiring, but staring at a computer screen all day is exhausting! When you are sitting all day, not being active it weakens your muscles to the point they do not want to do anything else. I almost feel that my muscles go to sleep and do not want to wake up for any such reason. Plus being at a computer all day causes me to feel so much pain in my back and that pain alone makes me fatigued. 

I have been doing my best to increase my hours at work and I have been able to do 7 hour days. I am thankful that my job has been understanding with slowly adding to how much I am able to handle. I have noticed that I feel so much better earlier in the day, but then about noon I start feeling like I have been hit by a ton of bricks. I do however keep pushing a few extra hours so I can hit my 7 hour goal! 

Y’all already know that living life with an illness can add some additional stress and challenges to your daily life. How do you fight through pain when there is not any kind of relief? Even though things have not been easy lately I do still believe everything157213-Fight-Through-The-Bad-Days happens for a reason and somehow everything works out the way they are meant to. I do realize how clique that sounds, but I do believe every word of it.  

The weather plays  huge part in the way I feel. Rain and cold cause my body to feel terrible. We had a few days of bitter cold and I felt like a truck had run me over and backed over me just for good measure. Then Mother Nature decides it needs to be warm, so my body adjusts to that only to have the weather get cold again! Then we have days of sunshine, followed by days of rain or the threat of rain and I feel horrible! If we could just have weeks or months of the same type of weather I could be adjusted and stable!

I hope y’all had a great Monday! I hope the rest of your week goes absolutely wonderful! Always remember how important it is to stay positive even when it is difficult. Strength comes from positivity! As always, I appreciate you stopping by site today and please leave comments as I will respond to you just as quickly as I can! Sending y’all lots of love and comfort always!

Love 2

Always, Alyssa

 

Community blog- keep it mindful group now up and running.

My very dear friend Kim is very passionate about starting a Facebook group for those suffering with illness. Both Kim and I have MS, so we have been chatting a lot about what we deal with. Her blog has been wonderful and what her plans are to have a nice support group is very admirable! All her information is included in this post that I have re blogged. Her blog is definitely worth checking out and joining her support group will be great!! Sending you lots of comfort and love!!

 

KeepItMindful

Hi everybody, this is more of an update really. I wanted to create a community. I want a place for those dealing with difficulties to be able to come to and share and express feelings day to day with the comfort of knowing we will help, we will listen, we will be there. I am dealing with MS and a lot of people with chronic illness showed interest, I want us to have a safe haven and this will be the place for it. We can get to know each other and be there to help people’s down days, problems but also we are all normal people. We can laugh together and get along knowing we are not judging and most importantly we understand.

I’ve created a closed group so it is just between us so just request to join and I will accept and just leave a comment, let…

View original post 46 more words

Reflecting on 2017

dwell on the pastI know there is normally no use dwelling on the past because it is more important to look towards the future, but reading some of my previous posts got me thinking. There was a lot of talk about pain in 2017. Everyone probably already knows that Multiple Sclerosis does come with a fair amount of pain but does talking about it really help? I know that writing about the pain did not make the pain magically go away, but in a way it helps to get those negative feelings out. Sharing my story with many people I unfortunately have not met in person and hearing their stories made the situation a little less lonely.

Living with an invisible illness can make people feel a little isolated at times. Granted for the most part my family understands my illness and is understanding, but when I go to work not many if any of my co-workers really know what I live with. When I park in a handicap parking space at the grocery store, not because it is impossible for me to walkinvisible-illness but because it does cause unnecessary pain to walk far distances, people look at me like I am committing a crime because I look perfectly normal. I have learned to not allow the judgments of others to affect my life but sometimes the looks are a little disturbing. I will never take the last handicap parking space at any store because another person might have a more severe condition and need it a lot more than I do. I always try to be considerate of others even if it does in turn cause me a little extra pain.

I have had Multiple Sclerosis for almost 17 years, but in October I had a ferocious flare up that caused me immense troubles. I was out of work for over a month on short-term disability which caused me some emotional troubles as well. All I could think is why am I only 36 years old and already on short term disability? Is this only going to continue on this path and force me to be viewed as a disabled woman? As crazy as it might sound I strong enoughfelt a vast amount of shame with this. I did not want anyone besides my direct manager to know anything about this so I did not have to deal with any ignorant comments when I did returned to work. Thankfully the short-term disability did not extend and I am slowly getting back into the swing of things at work. I am not working a full 8 hour day yet because it is not worth pushing myself too hard just to have a setback. It is called prioritizing, I am learning to put my health first and put my job second.

Pain is inevitable and continuing to live life is not optional. I still battle pain each day, but I refuse to give up. I want to be able to live a normal life even if my normal is different from others. hne_pain_and_suffering_We are given a chance to enjoy our lives no matter what challenges are we encounter. I am trying to fight my pain and MS with a positive and optimistic mind-set, it might not work every day but I will not allow these issues to control me! 

I hope y’all are having a good weekend! Hopefully you are feeling well and staying warm! These crazy cold temperatures have made me want to stay inside with my blanket and heating pad. According to the weather channel the temperatures will be on the rise next week, but whose to say that will last or really even happen. 

Thank you for visiting and commenting on my thoughts of day! I always appreciate hearing what you have to say and do always respond as quickly as I can! I hope you have a great and relaxing evening!! Much love to y’all!

Love 2

Always, Alyssa