What is an invisible illness. Technically it is any illness that you can’t see. What it is to me is….
Going to the store and seeing you in the parking lot. We haven’t seen each other in a while, so you stop to talk. “You look great! When are you coming back to church? The choir could really use another voice? Have you heard they need volunteers for the nursery. I know how you love kids, you should sign up!” It is nice to talk to someone, and I like you so I try to be polite. I want to have a conversation. It’s not going to happen though, because I can’t explain to you why I haven’t been at church, and won’t be volunteering for anything. For one thing, you probably don’t wan’t me to bum you out, and for another, I just used every bit of strength I had to get to this store today. I’m exhausted. Chances are I just left the stores wheelchair to walk to my car, doing my best to ignore the judging glares of all those that don’t understand how you can need a wheelchair if your legs work. I’m going to collapse if I drag this out, but you are the first person I’ve seen in weeks that I don’t live with and the social butterfly still clings to life inside this broken body. You will probably be my only social interaction this month.
Having an invisible illness is…
Waking up at 3am because I’m hungry. There is plenty of food. I am surrounded by convenience food, since it is the only thing I can make anymore. However, unrelenting nausea has kept me at one meal a day for too long. I’m are tired of being hungry all the time. Right now my stomach growls so ferociously I don’t even care if I can keep food down, I just want it to stop for a while. Ramen seems like a good plan. All it requires is water and three minutes. However by the time I get the water on the stove and open the package, I am already so exhausted that I have to sit down, right now, where I’m at. So now I’m sitting in the floor, and I can hear the water boiling, but the Ramen is in my lap and the stove is across the room. It takes 20 minutes to make a three minute meal. I don’t have the energy to care that it is missing half the water.
I did it though. I went to the store, made a pot of Ramen, survived another day of unrelenting torture.