Invisible Disease …
Rheumatoid Arthritis, Cancer, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia and Chronic Myofascial Pain, Depression and Mental Illness, Diabetes and other Blood Sugar Issues, Digestive Disorders (such as; IBS, colitis, Celiac), Headaches, Migraines, Heart Conditions, Infertility, Lupus, Lyme Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Neurological Diseases, Sjogren’s Syndrome …
Among those people I call Sister, Brother and friend are many who suffer from an invisible disease. These same wonderful women and men also do their absolute best to have a full and productive life. I am in awe of the things they can accomplish on any given day. One has a very active 3 year old daughter and works full time 12 hour days outside the home. She still manages to take care of her home, child and herself ….
Another friend also has a young child at home and while her invisible illness prohibits her from working outside the home, she still takes care of her home, her family and then as with many of us, the self comes in last in the line for care. And unless you know first hand the challenges of taking care of 4 adults and an active little boy on any given day, none of us know for sure what this feels like.
This other friend not only works outside the home, but does it overnight in order to be available for their very active pre-teen son. With a spouse that works what is considered a *normal* daytime job, the responsibility of the house work and errands are taken care of before she finds her bed to get a few hours of much needed sleep, before going back to work on the overnight shift.
These are just 3 examples of the challenges for a person with one of the above mentioned illnesses. A few months ago, it was determined I have Fibromyalgia. And I honestly knew nothing about this disease. No I haven’t been to a medical doctor for a diagnosis, I do not trust doctors, there is no absolute *test* they can administer to diagnose Fibro, and not having health insurance makes even the thought of the visits to rule out this disease and then this one, and then this one to finally be told, OH, you have Fibromyalgia is just not something I can afford either financially or mentally. After so much research online and at the local library, I am still astonished at how people can function on any given day. At this time I haven’t presented with all the known symptoms of Fibro, I have the deep aches, have figured the barometric pressure has a great deal to contribute with the migraine headaches and have had a few days of trying to work through the fuzzy brain that is commonly called Fibro Fog.
An additional issue with many people who have Fibro is also having Celiac Disease, which has caused me to figure out the effects of gluten on my system. I think this has been the hardest part of the journey so far. Breads and pasta are one of my biggest weaknesses. But, eating foods that have gluten in them results in a more painful day with consequences I honestly do not enjoy. I’ve learned to eat more fresh vegetables and fruit, lean meats (more chicken and white fish), and I’ve found I read every content label on everything I buy now. This is more challenging than when I had to live on a reduced fat diet after I didn’t have that emergency surgery to remove my gall bladder. You know, the one they gave me in 2002 when I went to the ER with horrible stomach pains to be told I had to have immediate emergency surgery only to be put upstairs in a room for *observation* almost immediately after I told that ER doctor I didn’t have insurance? Yeah, that one … and people wonder why I don’t trust doctors very much. There are SO many hidden ingredients that can contain gluten products. I’ve decided it is much safer and easier (more expensive) to eat only fresh foods. Nothing canned or frozen and nothing processed.
And oh yeah … I think this will probably be the last entry I write about Fibro at least for a while.