My name is Kate. I’m in my early twenties. I have a day job (teacher) and a weekend job (author). I practice yoga and adore crime shows.
Oh, and I have some invisible illnesses.
|Would you know that behind the stylish sunglasses and red lipstick their hides 13 years of pain?|
This week is Invisible Illness Awareness Week. I’m not going to get into the full story of my health – I’ll save that for World Arthritis Day in October – but I want to talk to you about what it’s like having an invisible illness.
In my case, I have rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia. When I had ankle surgeries in middle and high school, people saw my casts and crutches and patiently waited to hold doors open for me. If I’m walking slow now because I’m hurting, random strangers do not help. They roll their eyes at me taking too long.
I look completely fine. And, you know, most of me is. I have a brain that works fine. I can still walk around my classroom and school fine. It doesn’t inhibit my ability to do my job.
But these illnesses do affect my life, and you wouldn’t know it looking at me. And these are not the only kinds of invisible illness. Chronic migraines, Crohn’s, and depression are all examples. There are so many out there, and so many people who suffer from them.
I’m a person, but I’m a person suffering from chronic illness. So today and every day, try and remember that you don’t know what someone else is dealing with. They could be having a bad day. They could also be having a bad health day, but you can’t tell it at all.
I’m not invisible. We’re not invisible.