30 Things About My Invisible Illness You May Not Know
1. The illness I live with is: Rheumatoid Arthritis
2. I was diagnosed with it in the year: 2006
3. But I had symptoms since: May 2005
4. The biggest adjustment I’ve had to make is: slowing down, cutting back on physical activities.
5. Most people assume: that I’m being lame or lazy when I cancel plans or skip the gym. I’m not- it’s because I hurt.
6. The hardest part about mornings are: my body needs sleep. The mornings in flares where I haven’t had enough restorative sleep- waking up in pain doesn’t bode well for the day to come.
7. My favorite medical TV show is: Grey’s Anatomy. No RA reasons- McSteamy reasons.
8. A gadget I couldn’t live without is: my TENS machine.
9. The hardest part about nights are: getting comfortable during a flare.
10. Each day I take __ pills & vitamins. Right now, 3. At my worst, it’s been upwards of 11.
11. Regarding alternative treatments I: have tried a lot of them but unfortunately, my body responds best to traditional medication supplemented by alternative treatments.
12. If I had to choose between an invisible illness or visible I would choose: invisible all the way. Being in pain makes you feel very exposed- being able to hide that anything wrong is a comfort.
13. Regarding working and career: hard to balance sometimes but something I could never not do.
14. People would be surprised to know: I’ve learned a lot about myself through having RA.
15. The hardest thing to accept about my new reality has been: accepting that it’s forever. Forever is a very long time.
16. Something I never thought I could do with my illness that I did was: continue running. In 2007, I did 5 5K’s back to back!
17. The commercials about my illness: generally tick me off. They’re generally off base in every way you can be off base. They feature older people playing tennis. Hello- twenty somethings get this too!
18. Something I really miss doing since I was diagnosed is: the ability to be completely spontaneous. Not having to plan for rest or take medications with me.
19. It was really hard to have to give up: boot camp classes and high heels.
20. A new hobby I have taken up since my diagnosis is: um, blogging.
21. If I could have one day of feeling normal again I would: go wild.
22. My illness has taught me: not to sweat the small things. We all have struggles. Be sympathetic to everyone- you have no idea what they’re dealing with inside.
23. Want to know a secret? One thing people say that gets under my skin is: “but you’re so young.”
24. But I love it when people: say “please tell me more.”
25. My favorite motto, scripture, quote that gets me through tough times is: “Pain is temporary, quitting lasts forever.” -Lance Armstrong.
26. When someone is diagnosed I’d like to tell them: it’s going to be ok.
27. Something that has surprised me about living with an illness is: there are ways to modify virtually everything to make it something you can do.
28. The nicest thing someone did for me when I wasn’t feeling well was: bring my friends to me one time when I felt awful and couldn’t go out to see them.
29. I’m involved with Invisible Illness Week because: it’s so important that people understand us!
30. The fact that you read this list makes me feel: cared for. I appreciate that you want to know more about something that affects me everyday.
Find out more about National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week and the 5-day free virtual conference with 20 speakers Sept 14-18, 2009 at www.invisibleillness.com.