Many people with chronic diseases have what is called an “invisible illness,” meaning that although they are very sick, they don’t have visible signs of illness so many people assume that they’re not really sick at all.
This is a constant source of frustration for many chronic disease sufferers. They’re always trying to get friends, family and co-workers to understand that just because they don’t use a wheelchair or look like they have a disability, doesn’t mean they’re not suffering from symptoms such as constant chronic pain and debilitating fatigue.
Kari Lingren wrote an article for The Mighty where she answers in great detail one of the questions she regularly gets asked from people who don’t (or can’t) understand what it’s like to live with a chronic illness: “What do you do all day?”
She explains how difficult is it for people like her to just get out of bed in the morning; how she needs a couple of hours to adjust from being asleep to being awake; to summon the strength needed to go and fix herself some breakfast. And her day doesn’t really get much better. Everything she needs to do takes up so much of her limited energy supply that it takes her a long time to recover from even the simplest of tasks. The biggest thing she can do all day is concentrate on resting so her body can begin to heal itself to start over again the next day.
Read Kari’s article “My Response to “What Do You Do All Day?” as a Chronically Ill Woman.”
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