The Disabilities You Can’t See

The Disabilities You Can’t See
We all know medical ribbons. There are dozens of colors representing medical conditions: Pink for breast cancer, red for heart disease, green for cerebral palsy, purple for Crohn’s. There actually are dozens of medical conditions represented by each color. These bring awareness and education to the world. Awareness weeks and months exist for the same reason. Oct. 15-21 was Invisible Disabilities Awareness week. What is an invisible disease or disability? Simply put, a medical condition that doesn’t necessarily affect your appearance, but significantly affects your body’s ability to do normal daily activities. Having an invisible medical condition (or conditions) comes with many challenges. I’ve written about invisible conditions and disabilities in the past — what they are, how they are perceived. This time, I'm focusing on how those debilitating conditions get in the way of life’s plans and how they make me feel. When my illness strikes, it happens fast and hard We’ve all been there, never knowing what kind of day to expect when you wake up. Will it be a good day, when you can go out and enjoy simple pleasures or a day when your health ultimately takes over, canceling everything? It’s hard for me to make plans ahead of time because I never know how I will be feeling that day. This makes concerts, weddings, dates or stopping by a friend’s birthday party rather tricky commitments. Countless times, I’ve been invited to join some friends or family to spend time together or go out, and I had to cancel at the last moment. I could have been feeling good all day, thinking I was good to go, then moments before leaving my home the unpredictability of my health strikes. I become so sick I can’t go or I know I cannot physically participate. I hat
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  1. Paul Tarantino says:

    Crohns since 1979. My advise is to go out and enjoy family and friends. Sometimes when not feeling well l go out anyway. Why? Not because I’m denying or stubborn but I have found it is good for the spirit. I may not eat or hit the rest room but I will be with friends and laugh with them or catch up. At time I started ill then the episode was gone. I learned when to fast and when to eat. When to stay home and when to go out. After 38 years of having Crohns and much experimentation I learned how to live with it. I’m now a retired Oncology Nurse and I always told my patients not to let the disease take more away from you than necessary.I learned this not in a book but by living it every day. So go out and enjoy.

    • Lisa Burks says:

      Wow, you have a great attitude about not letting your disease consume the person you are as a whole. I love it! Laughter really is good medicine. I don’t want my life to go by without having actually lived it. I like how you said “Don’t let your disease take more away from you than necessary”. Good to live by! I just have learned through some not so good experiences, that as much as I don’t want to be held back due to my conditions, there are times where it truly is in the best interests to take a day off and rest. I don’t just have Crohns disease though, and even as severe as it can be, my Crohn’s is not always my most debilitating condition.
      I hope that you are doing well! 🙂 Take care my fellow Crohn’s warrior!!

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