There is nothing I would not do for those who are really my friends.
I have no notion of loving people by halves, it is not my nature.
~ Jane Austen

Monday, September 10, 2012

This Week is National Invisible Illness Week.

When I started blogging, it was a way to journal my digital art. It was intended to document my digital art and see how different I could express my art using Photoshop.

If you follow my blog, you know I have a chronic illness. Some days are good but most days are bad. Good days can consist of being able to run an errand, may be visit an antique mall, or even go to one of favorite stores TJ MAXX or Marshall’s, and now we have a new Home Goods store.

Bad days are different for me. Each day can be a different type of pain, different location of the body, or even spending most of the day in bed. Weather can really affect how my body reacts. Which could mean an additional medication for pain. These medications I take very carefully and only when I really take the pain any longer. When you are diagnosed with a chronic illness, it can become an “umbrella” to other chronic illnesses.

Before being diagnosed, which took about nine years, I worked as a Senior Contract/Cost Manager. Traveled a lot which was not always fun. Could concentrate…meeting that deadline that was needed last week really was my favorite part of my job. I enjoyed my job very much. It was challenging, having to research historical accounting/budget information, analyzing the data, and prepare current and forecasted budgets for senior management. To most of you, that may sound so boring, but for me was a dream job. Most importantly about working, were the friendships made all those years.  An identity.

Now to the present ~ invisible illness.

Since diagnosis, I have years spent on many daily medications. These have altered my appearance…weight gain, inflammation, fatigue, “moon face”, “moon stomach”, and skin rashes just to name a few. Doctor appointments are too many to count each month. A near death medical episode where I was in ICU for a couple days, and many more hospital stays than I would ever wish on anyone.

When I do out or we go on a vacation, the whispers of “she is so fat”, really hurts but that is why it is called an invisible illness. They don’t know the amount of medications I take daily, the house work I cannot do, the meals I have no energy to cook for my husband, missing social gatherings, or even taking that morning walk.

I miss not working. I miss having friends. Life is very lonely.

I have always been creative. Just now I spend more time in our home creating. The past few months I have been gathering art supplies. I will continue to make my holiday cards and gifts tags. But I have told myself that this illness will not keep me from learning and going outside my comfort zone. I am hoping in the next few months to take some art classes.

I just wanted to share with you some insight what living with a chronic illness means and what it takes to manage this illness.



I'm sorry that life is hard for you and hope that someday the med's will work and that you will feel better.
I'm an FAT and I don't take any med' excuse for me!
Take care!

Theresa said...

Hey there my friend! Thank you for sharing your story! You never know who reads this that might need some encouragement! Have a blessed day and I pray that you get better as the days go on! Healing is what I will pray for, HEALING! HUGS!

Debby said...

You have us for friends. They weren't true friends if they left you for any of those reasons. My mother is obsessed by weight. She is always on my back. She doesn't understand that some illnesses cause weight gain. She is like those ones that whisper. Don't let that worry you. I am very fluffy......somedays I don't feel well (yesterday for one....tummy flareup, temp and slept most of the day). In the long run, it's about what you make of your situation. You are amazing, and don't forget that.

Shirley said...

Hi Sharon, I am one of your friends and I know about good days and bads. You are right about how people look at you. They don't know what is going on with us. Just remember that the one we are married to loves us. I keep saying a prayer for both of us that their will be an improvement. Just know that you are thought of each day and will continue to be to be in my thoughts and prayers. Hugs and prayers from Your Missouri Friend.

Donna said...

When you live with chronic illness it changes everything. Praying for you!

Sarita Boyette said...

I'm so sorry for your physical problems & the emotional ones that come with them. I have depression, fibromyalgia & renal insufficiency, stage 3, among others. I was a teacher & retired sooner than I wanted to because of illness. I'm overweight as well & that is the first thing people see usually. I can't blame all my weight on illness. I can blame some of it on severe depression, though.
God be with you - wish everyone could see the invisible things that people deal with.
There is a quote I love -
"Be kind to everyone you meet today, for you never know what kind of battle he/she may be fighting."
God bless you,

Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces said...

OH Sharon, I missed this glad you stopped by! You have written this so have had a very hard time with it. It is so hard when it robs you of what you want to do...some days you can be too tired to take a ride in the car. And I understand about your feelings about appearance...I don't worry anymore about looking young and beautiful...I just want to look healthy. I am glad you are looking at taking art classes...I have done some online classes...they're good because you can do them when you want. It's so important to have still be able to enjoy some things you like to do. I'm sorry you aren't able to do the job you loved...I am only able to do my work things because I have a lot of help...a regular job is out of the question. I hope you will have a remission soon, my friend...XO

Nita Jo said...

Thank you for sharing your story! I too have an invisible illness, MS, and it has turned my life upside down. I love blogging so much, but it has taken away even that in recent months. Like you, I avoid pain meds til I can't take it any longer. It's hard when people don't understand. I have dealt with many of the same things you are, and it's just stinking hard!

I'm glad you're pressing on and planning things that you enjoy. That's exactly what I trying to do. I've had to modify my life and find new things to love, but there really is another rainbow just beyond the clouds. We just have to find new joys! Bless you!