chronic illness

‘I felt itching on my stomach, noticed a small black spec. I became panicked. My boss looked at me. ‘That’s a tick!’: Young woman encourages others battling invisible illness to ‘never stop fighting’

“I remember riding the train and I felt like a stranger was living in my body. I didn’t feel like myself… I felt like my world was constantly spinning, I was beyond exhausted, no matter how much I slept, and I often found myself wearing sunglasses because the light bothered me so much. Before this, I didn’t even own a pair. I got a call from the Urgent Care. ‘You tested positive for Lyme Disease. You need to come get you an antibiotic.’”

‘I’m often mistaken for being lazy or spoiled. The dirty looks I get would shock you. I may look like a typical 23-year-old, but I’m not.’: Woman with multiple ‘invisible’ chronic illnesses refuses to let struggles ‘overcome her joy’

“My determination isn’t disabled, my fire isn’t disabled, but my body is. For a long time, this was hard to admit. I do my best to show up every day, but it’s not always enough. I can practically smell the resentment from my coworkers. My boss stopped believing me and asked for a ‘doctor’s note.’ Instead, I ended up hospitalized. ‘Is this good enough?’ I snarkily asked. I know I should keep my mouth shut, but I really can’t help myself. The struggle is REAL.”

‘I want to live in my parents’ basement with 13 kids and no husband,’ said 3-year-old me. One part is true. Babies, and lots of ‘em!’: Woman shares emotional battle with Endometriosis, knows she’ll someday ‘be a mama’

“I dreamt of the day I’d turn in my baby dolls for the real deal. Fast forward 23 years, and here I am. Married to the man of my dreams. Our home is full, but our arms empty. We wanted the big family, sleepless nights, poopy diapers. We wanted it. So, we tried. And tried. After 6 months of negative tests, I knew something was off. They found 2 masses on my ovaries the size of a lemon and a golf ball.”

‘Please Mom, I don’t want to leave. I promise I’ll be good. I don’t like myself very much.’: Sister’s heartbreaking tribute to her late big brother who society deemed ‘the bad kid’

“I’d watched life treat my brother Glen so unfairly. I wanted so badly for something to go right for him. One night, he was extremely upset. My father picked my mom and I up. Glen called us to see where we were, and I still remember her last words to him. ‘We’re giving you space for the night, but we want to help you, Glen.’ The next morning, we were greeted by my dog at the front door. She was crying.”

‘After a yoga session, my spine slipped forward. I couldn’t move. I couldn’t roll over. I was a vegetable.’: Woman with Spondylolisthesis, chronic illness claims ‘pain is inevitable,’ but ‘suffering is optional’

“I remember laying in bed, feeling trapped inside myself. I had no idea at the time this injury would turn my world upside down and become the barometer for all the decisions I made for the rest of my life. Working, having a family, being active, or doing all the things a normal 30-something-year-old should do are no longer an option.”

‘But how will they function in the REAL world?!’ People judge us for homeschooling our kids. Truth is, they already are.’: Mom places children in homeschool after relentless bullying, claims they went from ‘depressed shells of humans’ to ‘thriving’

“After a long year of our kids feeling burnt out, bullied, and unsupported at their private school, we made the difficult choice to bring them home. I wish I could say it was an easy transition or that it immediately felt like the right choice. If I’m being honest, it felt like the only choice. They struggled to go to school each day and their passion for learning dwindled. We knew we had to act fast. So, we dove right in, grieving the life we were leaving behind.”

‘I was vomiting. My doctor said it was because I was ‘promiscuous’. Others said it was from grief, after my mom hung herself.’: Woman with chronic illness says pain ‘robbed her of so much,’ but won’t rob her ‘passion for living’

“The pain got so bad. I pulled over on the side of the freeway and called my dad, begging him to come get me. I became confused, disoriented. I remember thinking I could understand why my mother took her own life. It made me realize I either had to fight for my own health, or continue to fade away. I had to be stronger than my mom was. I couldn’t stop fighting.”

‘Minutes after being born the doctors noticed my skin peeling from just being wrapped in the typical blanket they use with newborns’. Woman describes the pain of living with Recessive Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa

“There’s often the misconception my illness is not a big deal and it’s ‘just a skin condition.’ If my illness was as minor as people tend to believe I wouldn’t have lost the ability to walk over the years, or my hands wouldn’t be webbing from years of scarring and friction.”

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