chronic illness

‘I probably won’t outlive my sister or may not be able to see my children grow up. ‘Do you feel like a burden?’—Yes, I do’: Woman with Cystic Fibrosis details journey, ‘If you search for the silver living, you’ll always find it’

“I had no energy to move, let alone scream. My parents had nothing to be concerned about. All was a mystery. I hid behind the paper and the little book in my wardrobe no one knew existed. I was fine about everything and I sort of still am, but I don’t want to die yet.”

‘On the plane ride home from my summer vacation in Mexico, my face went numb. ‘Maybe it’s just the high elevation?’ Soon, I couldn’t feel the right side of my body.’: Young single mom diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis graduates college

“The doctor told me, ‘There is no cure. You will have this for the rest of your life.’ Then, I noticed I was 3 weeks late for my period. I’d just been diagnosed with an incurable disease and now I was pregnant all at the age of 20?! My baby’s father said, ‘I want to live the life of an average 21-year-old, just not with you in it.’ My life changed in the blink of an eye.”

‘My biology teacher said, ‘You’re lying. There’s no way you’d be alive without a pancreas.’ I held back tears, mortified. She accused me of my disease not being real.’: Diabetic woman details journey, ‘Our stories need to be heard’

“She tried to embarrass me in front of the class. ‘You’re wrong. I know what was done to my body.’ The room grew quiet as I sat there in shock. She accused me of my disease not being real. I knew right then and there I needed to make a change.”

‘I crumpled to the ground. ‘She’s a crybaby,’ the doctor said. ‘There’s nothing wrong. She’s wasting our time, take her home.’ I was misdiagnosed as a hysterical teen girl.’: Chronic illness warrior runs for first time in 29 years

“Flesh peeled away from my exposed wound and floated like confetti all around me as I sat in excruciating pain. I will never forget the smell. ‘You outta play the lottery, kid! You hit the proverbial jackpot, not once, but twice. What are the odds!’ It was spreading to my ‘good’ leg. There was no more Lara left, only pain. I was told it was all in my head.”

‘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.”

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