Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The one you don't really know, yet accused- invisible illness

The one you called lazy has been up all night sick & fought to get out of bed just to make it through the doors to work or school.

The one you say is attention seeking because they use a medical device or parked in HP spot & doesn't "look" sick considered leaving that device at home, just to appear normal, but would be putting health and comfort at risk.

The one who went to the bathroom after eating only a few bites that you accused of having an ED has a paralyzed GI tract (Gatroparesis and Chronic intestinal pseudo-obstruction) & can't keep food down.

The one you judged & shut up for being honest when you asked how they felt just needed someone they thought cared to open up with. Don't ask if you don't really want to know.

The one you cut out of your life because they can't spend as much social time with you and missed your party or wedding has been fighting just to make it through a single day & accomplish basic daily tasks and chores. Why not visit THEM for once and plan an activity they can participate in?

The one you used to love & cut out of your life because they are not the same has an invisible illness & needs to be understood. Listen to their story. If you don't believe them, talk to others who are in the same shoes. So many people with the same stories aren't making this stuff up! Plus, look at the medical test results and description of what their diagnosis can do!

The one who didn't buy you a nice gift in return for a nice gift you gave them is on disability, has high medical expenses & is just trying to keep from going into debt from medical bills and general living expenses alone.

The one you accused of being depressed and not physically caring for themselves had to lay down five times in between bathing, dressing, taking meds, and doing simple "get ready to go out" tasks. They may have had to shower the day before simply to be able to get up and go the next day.They may have been up for two-three hours just preparing to go out and be somewhat presentable. They are just TIRED from simply doing that and may not feel very social!

The one you gossiped about for not dressing as appropriately as necessary may not be able to wear "normal" clothes. They may have a paralyzed gut that holds food in, making them bloated and they need to wear comfortable clothes. Their hair may be falling out from poor nutrition and they may need that scarf or hat to hide bald spots. They may have pain from osteoporosis, neuropathy, auto-immune disorders, and need to wear comfortable shoes.

The one you accused of being self-focused and not caring about you is dealing with so many overwhelming pressures and fears themselves that sometimes they just can't give back what you expect or want. But they DO care about you too.

People with invisible illnesses need your support & need to feel included. They need to be treated normally, but also need to know you are there for them if they need you. Don't think of them as being lazy, attention seeking, making things up, self-centered, or not caring about you & YOUR needs too. Your accusations only make their situations worse and harder to manage.