Anyone who has Migraine disease or another headache disorder knows what it's like to live with an invisible illness. People can't see our illness. There are no outward signs. No physical scars, canes, wheel chairs, or any of the other outward signs that can alert people that a person is living with an illness.
Invisible illnesses are easy for "healthy" people to ignore. Unfortunately, so are the difficulties of those who live with these diseases. This adds to the burden of disease and makes lives even more difficult.
Each year, National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week is observed to educate the public and raise awareness about invisible illnesses. One of the blogging activities this year is a "meme," 30 Things About My Invisible Illness You May Not Know. So, here's my meme...
- The illness I live with is: Migraine disease (mainly. I have others as well).
- I was diagnosed with it in the year: 1960.
- But I had symptoms since: I can't remember a time without them.
- The biggest adjustment I’ve had to make is: accepting that I sometimes have to slow down or just stop for a few hours or even days.
- Most people assume: that Migraines are "just headaches."
- The hardest part about mornings is: I hate mornings. ;-)
- My favorite medical TV show is: Strong Medicine (no longer running) and House
- A gadget I couldn’t live without is: my computer!
- The hardest part about nights is: occasional insomnia.
- Each day I take *_32_* pills & vitamins. (No comments, please)
- Regarding alternative treatments I: use meditation, aromatherapy, and more.
- If I had to choose between an invisible illness or visible I would choose: visible.
- Regarding working and career: I am fortunate to be able to work from a home office, mainly on my own schedule.
- People would be surprised to know: that I am in some type of pain every day.
- The hardest thing to accept about my new reality has been: limitations.
- Something I never thought I could do with my illness that I did was: make a difference for others with the disease.
- The commercials about my illness: are few and inadequate.
- Something I really miss doing since I was diagnosed is: impossible to say since I was so young.
- It was really hard to have to give up: going all night if I wanted to.
- A new hobby I have taken up since my diagnosis is: impossible to say since I was so young.
- If I could have one day of feeling normal again I would: not know what to do with myself.
- My illness has taught me: perseverance and to not give up.
- Want to know a secret? One thing people say that gets under my skin is: people thinking I can take a couple of Tylenol and "get over" a Migraine.
- But I love it when people: actually ask questions and want to understand.
- My favorite motto, scripture, quote that gets me through tough times is: "You must become the change you wish to see in the world" – Mahatma Gandhi
- When someone is diagnosed I’d like to tell them: learn all you can about this disease, then take charge of your health and your health care.
- Something that has surprised me about living with an illness is: how many people come up with "cure" scams to make money from us.
- The nicest thing someone did for me when I wasn’t feeling well was: stand in the shower behind me and wash my hair for me.
- I’m involved with Invisible Illness Week because: if we're to make progress, we must speak out and keep speaking out to educate people.
- The fact that you read this list makes me feel: that we CAN make a difference!
With a meme, at this point, I ask other bloggers to participate by answering these questions on their blogs to keep this going. I'm going to ask a group of Migraine bloggers I communicate with to accept this meme and keep it going. So, all of you Migraine and headache bloggers in my group, be ready!
You can 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.