Over 100 million people live with an invisible illness. That is staggering.
So Mama, if you live with one, you’re not alone.
It may not be obvious to others that you have a condition that greatly affects your health, because you don’t walk with a limp or have a wheelchair. However, there are a ton of invisible illnesses that are unnoticed by the naked eye. I’m talking about diseases like: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, Lupus, Crohn’s Disease, Thyroid Disease, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Autoimmune Disorders and many, many more.
So, to the Mom with an Invisible Illness, I want to say…
I may not be able to see your pain, but I see you.
I see you work a job outside of the home, and then come home to a household of people who need you. And I see you taking care of them, despite your desperately low energy and the fact that today, your pain is an 8.
I see you taking supplements, making regular doctor’s appointments and stops by the pharmacy, in an effort to manage your illness.
I see that sometimes you have to save your energy for those closest to you, your family, and that might mean you have to cancel plans with me. While I miss hanging out with you, we can text instead.
I see you feeling guilty for the nap you take after work, or for going to bed really early, when your body just can’t function without any more rest. I wish you wouldn’t feel guilty.
I see that you often run a low-grade fever because your body is fighting inflammation. Because of this, some days you rest and other days you push on. I see that you are a fighter.
I see that occasional hospital stays or sick days disrupt your life. But I always see you bounce back.
I see that sometimes you have to ask for help, which you hate, but it has become a necessity when your disease is flaring up.
I see the smile on your face, even when your eyes are tired and your body aches, when you volunteer to lead the craft for your child’s class party. It will take a lot of energy, but you really don’t want to miss it. And you’ll be great at it.
I see how a person in the parking lot makes a snarky comment when you pull into a handicapped spot and you just smile and rattle off the name of your disease or illness, because they’ve probably never heard of it anyway.
I see how others don’t believe you are sick, because “you look fine”. And I admire you for not trying to correct them, although it probably frustrates you and makes you feel alone. I want you to know you’re not.
From one Mom to another, I want you to know that I see you…and I think you are strong.
Keep fighting, warrior.
Do you have a chronic condition that is considered an invisible illness? Drop the name of it in the comments below and what you’d want others to know about it. We want to hear from you!