battling chronic illness

‘My best friend said, ‘You’re too depressing to be around. All you talk about is your pain and sickness. You need to hold it all in, or I won’t be your friend anymore.’: Woman written off by society finds ‘unconditional love’ in chronic illness community 

“For 8 years, I couldn’t get the medicine I needed because doctors suggested I was complaining about nothing. They dismissed me with, ‘It’s all in your head.’ I became an expert at denying my own pain. I resigned from my job. Being sick was not something people wanted to hear about.”

‘My boyfriend who ‘loved me’ broke up with me over the phone once I was in the hospital. My health deteriorated at lightning speed.’: Woman details journey with Crohn’s Disease, ‘You can rise above and flourish’

“I went from being a perfectly healthy 21-year-old with the world by the tail to 105-degree fevers every day. One day, my mom found me lying on the couch at dinner time in my pajamas from the night before. ‘It’s time to get to the bottom of this.’ Something wasn’t right, but we couldn’t put our fingers on it.”

‘I found myself drenched in sweat in the middle of the night. The doctor said, ‘You look perfectly healthy, but on paper you would terrify any doctor.’: Woman details brave journey with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, Addison’s disease

“My doctor came in, her tone solemn and harsh. She was about to give me a serious dose of reality. She looked me straight in the eye and said, ‘Listen, people with this have died from a minor dental procedure. If not treated and monitored properly, it will kill you.’ I was 35 years old, trapped in an 80-year-old body.”

‘I was choking on my own saliva. I thought my life was over. Alex was laying on my face crying and I could feel his tears running down my face.’: Autism mom with lupus describes difficult journey, ‘The thought of not being with him haunts me’

“One by one, I will lose all ability to speak and move. I will lose mobility at an age that is way too young. It will take away from the joy I share with Alex, which is already limited and unfair. In the worst part of my life when I was physically sick and could barely walk, I was given the greatest gift of my life.”

‘So she’ll always be sick?’ I leave the office with an answer but no cure. ‘I’m not dying. I’m just 16 and past my prime.’: Chronic illness warrior battles lupus and fibromyalgia

“’Maybe if I drank bleach,’ I think. I feel so dirty, tired and stiff. ‘Maybe if I turned inside-out and scrubbed my veins out with soap.’ Surely the disease would be eradicated. I’m supposed to find out today. I tap my foot. ‘Remember to breathe, you have to breathe, just breathe.’ Dr. Box settles into his rolling chair. ‘So she’ll always be sick?’ ‘Yes, but we caught it early.’ Yesterday, I dropped my hairbrush. I couldn’t finish. My hair is still knotted in the back. Last week, I passed out briefly, stepping out of the shower. And this was an improvement.”

‘What do I need to do to make it?’ I walked through those doors, standing at 315 pounds with a disability I hid. ‘Let’s give this a shot.’: Woman with Klippel Trenaunay Syndrome finds peace in chronic illness

“I was spending every day off work as a first responder on a recliner or in bed, surrounded by pain and fatigue. My disease was here to stay, after it had been silent for 12 years. I’ve always been hard-headed. ‘I will do it on my own.’ But when my health became something I could not hide anymore, I knew it was time to share it, despite the fear of what they may judge.”

‘Did yoga do this to you?’ I woke up seeing double. Things took a turn. ‘I know it’s a lot to take in.’ I was shocked.’: Young woman comes to terms with multiple sclerosis diagnosis, ‘I won’t let this hold me back’

“I remember sitting in the waiting room. I lost all control of myself and burst into tears. What if the MS diagnosis was wrong? It felt wrong! I just wanted to opt-out of this, but there was no way. Still crying, I signed my name. All I felt was a little pinch before I went completely numb.”

‘A co-worker came up to me. ‘Half your face looks a little strange.’ I tried to respond, but couldn’t move my mouth to speak. My first thought was, ‘Am I having a stroke?’: Woman shares trigeminal neuralgia diagnosis journey

“I rushed to the hospital. The pain was so bad I literally thought, ‘There’s no possible way I am going to survive this. A human being can’t survive this much pain.’ I was prescribed a copious amount of medication. When would I stop needing it? Never. I thought I would never get a chance to be a mom, but I didn’t want to give up my dream.”

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