invisible illness

‘It can’t be bad, you’re young. You look fine.’ I questioned whether my symptoms were in my head.’: Single mom diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, ‘I don’t know what tomorrow has in store, but I’m ready to fight’

“I went from busy full days of work to barely handling the commute. I struggled to keep up with other moms my age. Misconceptions such as, ‘Young people can’t get it,’ and ‘You look totally healthy,’ infuriated me. It’s not just a disease for the elderly. I wasn’t fighting only for myself, but also my son.”

‘Did you think we were ‘lucky’ to stay in bed while you go to work? Reach out to us.’: Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva warrior says, ‘Check on the people you know who have to stay home for disabilities’

“How have you viewed their lifestyles? Are you already starting to get bored at home even though it hasn’t been that long yet? Think of those who were already isolated away from society, and those who will continue staying inside long after the pandemic ends.”

‘Ma’am, have a seat.’ I wanted to scream, ‘Look at the scar down my chest, I’m not making this up!’ but it was too late. They didn’t believe me.’: Woman finally diagnosed with invisible illness Myasthenia Gravis after 6-year battle  

“I was written off as hormonal. My husband frantically demanded I be intubated. He kept screaming, ‘The oxygen levels don’t matter. She’s in a Myasthenic Crisis!’ I tried to take a breath. It was too late. All my muscles started twitching. I was flopping around on the hospital gurney uncontrollably. Suffocating. I was dying and no one was listening to my husband’s desperate pleas. I heard Code Blue called over the intercom and faded away. I didn’t wake for 2 weeks.”

‘No cure? Like forever?’ I’ve been shot in a drive-by shooting, and I’d still take that pain over Crohn’s. I was so angry.’: Young woman learns to live with invisible illness, ‘It’s not the end of the world if you have to pull over, or ruin a pair of pants’

“Suddenly I could not keep any food inside of me, from either end. I was losing weight fast. The weather was nice so my boyfriend and I went to a restaurant on the waterfront for dinner. Afterwards, he took the long, scenic way home. I was in intense pain and needed to get to a bathroom. We finally arrive and he insisted on walking me to the door, not realizing I was ready to sprint. The minute I shut the door behind me, I projectile vomited all over the entryway. I became a homebody. I was accused of things like, ‘You just want pity. You’re lazy.’”

‘It’s time to consider a lung transplant.’ I was terrified of dying before I’d started living.’: Young woman with Cystic Fibrosis fights ‘to live the fullest life I can, in the time I am given to live it’

“My parents comfort me by saying, ‘We will get through this.’ I needed oxygen pumped into my nostrils at all times to breathe. I was afraid I was dying. I’ve seen videos where they interview elderly people on their deathbeds who are asked what they regret in life. Most people regret not having lived passionately, fulfilled and happy. I believed I would be one of them if I didn’t make a change.”

‘My boyfriend didn’t sign up for a sick girl. ‘I’d rather die than have a poop bag attached to me.’: Woman with ulcerative colitis learns to ‘love herself’ despite invisible illness

“How can an athletic, smart, strong young woman who has the entire world ahead of her have an incurable sickness? Even with a doctor’s note, my administration accused me of trying to get out of my contractual duties. ‘It’s ridiculous Jess keeps calling off. Does she expect us to cover her classes all of the time?’”

‘Two months before college graduation, my symptoms returned. The bloat, the blood, stomach pain, and fatigue.’: Young woman diagnosed with severe Ulcerative Colitis, ‘I felt I would never get my life back, now I embrace it all’

“‘Natalie. He died.’ I can still remember it like yesterday. Being woken up in my freshman year dorm from a call. All I remember next is screaming, ‘No, no, no, no, no!’ Dead. Died. Gone. As time went on, I started feeling sick. Very sick.”

‘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.”

For our best love stories, subscribe to our free email newsletter: