Living with an invisible illness can be hard.
Invisible illness. We see these words very often in today’s world but what do they actually mean? Invisible illnesses are something that an individual may suffer from. These symptoms will NOT be obvious to those around the individual and may seem trivial. They are not they are serious and should be taken as such as it really isn’t an easy journey.
It can be so hard dealing with pain all day, from the moment you wake until the moment you try to fall asleep. Whether this is a physical pain somewhere on your body. Not forgetting that lot’s of other invisible illnesses can cause a plethora of physical ailments. It can be tough and made worse when you’re aren’t believed.
What Type of Invisible Illness is There?
They can be a problem for anyone and at any age. There is no discrimination from invisible illness’ that’s for sure. There are many, many forms of invisible illness however there may be some you’ll be more familiar with.
There are so many illnesses that may not be visible to the naked eye. Mental health is one of the illnesses on the top of the list. So many people have to deal with their mental health battles every single day. They fall under various categories and the symptoms vary from one individual to the next. Mental health illnesses are still very much looked at with stigma attached to it. Especially illnesses such as bipolar, depression and anxiety. The problem is these symptoms can be mental health issues of their own or part of a wider illness. All mental health illnesses are hard to cope with and mostly need more understanding.
Autoimmune diseases are invisible illnesses that are also really hard to cope with. The bodies natural immune responses don’t act as they should. In fact, the immune system begins to attack the healthy cells in the body. Many illnesses that fall under autoimmune illnesses might surprise you. Such as diabetes, arthritis, lupus and even IBS. All these illnesses, again, come with their own set of symptoms. Some painful, some life-changing and most not easily visible.
Invisible Illnesses and The Spectrum
Then there is the spectrum and all the people who fall into this category. Affecting the brain and how information is interpreted. Not always easily visible and very misunderstood at most times. Those who are on the spectrum can find everyday activities very taxing. It can also be very difficult for those to verbalise what they experience and some even feel stigma in doing so.
My Invisible Illness
Being among the millions who suffer from an invisible illness I have first-hand experience of it. How it can reach into every aspect of your everyday life. It can affect your hobbies, relationships and even mental health. Invisible illness is hard to cope with no matter its form.
The invisible illness I suffer from is actually a result of a rare medical condition I have. Perthes disease is the necrosis (death) of parts of the hip bone. This results in a lack of blood to bone there and that causes the bone to become soft. After the bone has become soft it then becomes free to re-shape and deform dependent on the severity. I have this in my right hip joint and was diagnosed at about 5.
How It Affected Me
In a medical sense, I have had various operations over the years. To reconnect the blood flow and re-harden the bone, strengthen and lengthen my right leg. This entailed having my whole hip ball removed and placed in a different location. Hoping it would close an approximately 3-inch length difference in my right leg. I’ve had metal plates in my hip to hold the bones together and had them removed. All of this and I still have a good leg length difference to this day and that has begun to curve my spine. I have a large scar on my right outer thigh and a visible limp and as you can imagine all of the above was extremely painful. The recovery was long and with so much physiotherapy it’s a little overwhelming to think back on really.
The Daily Pain of My Invisible Illness
Unless I have my 20cm scar on display it may not be totally obvious that I have something wrong other than a bad foot. Unless I’m using an aid which isn’t usual for me. I however spend most days in a lot of pain from both my leg which also affects my knees. Also, pain in my back that is now working its way up to my shoulders. My doctor believes that there may be more going on and it’s being investigated as the pain is slowly spreading everywhere really. I have trouble sleeping as I can’t lie on my right side as it is just too painful and sleeping on my left does too. It can become really frustrating and you become exhausted. This then takes its toll on your mental state.
Invisible Illness and Blogging
This is why I chose to blog! As the pain slowly took over doing active stuff wasn’t always possible and I really wanted a hobby. After becoming a mum I lost my identity a bit and decided that a blog would be a great way to express myself. Away from the pain of my illness and something just for myself in a way. Time away from being just partner or mum. Even if we do cover parenting it’s just that time writing for me that I love.
It can be difficult at times but having the best readers in the world really helps. There can be times that I don’t post as often and that’s usually due to pain. Coping with every day and a family. It’s something I can do in my own time at my own leisure.
Don’t Suffer Alone
With the tools such as Facebook at our fingertips, there are so many supports groups available. There are so many people who know exactly how you’re feeling. You may even find some amazing tips to help you cope with your symptoms? Talk to your GP about local support groups if you’d rather support closer to home. Whatever you do, don’t suffer in silence. If we keep talking we can lift the stigma around invisible illnesses and those who suffer from them.
Lots of Love,