autoimmune disease

‘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.”

‘You cannot get the flu from the flu vaccine. Ever. No matter what anyone’s told you.’: Certified medical professional urges us to ‘save one another,’ breaks down flu shot myths and facts

“I’ve put a grandfather on a ventilator who couldn’t breathe. I’ve held a newborn with fever while the doctor does a lumbar puncture. I’ve put the final drape over a mother-of-3’s face after she beat breast cancer, but died of the flu. I did all of this knowing full well it was preventable. We had the ability to save those people as a society, and we failed.”

‘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.”

‘I want to live in my parents’ basement with 13 kids and no husband,’ said 3-year-old me. One part is true. Babies, and lots of ‘em!’: Woman shares emotional battle with Endometriosis, knows she’ll someday ‘be a mama’

“I dreamt of the day I’d turn in my baby dolls for the real deal. Fast forward 23 years, and here I am. Married to the man of my dreams. Our home is full, but our arms empty. We wanted the big family, sleepless nights, poopy diapers. We wanted it. So, we tried. And tried. After 6 months of negative tests, I knew something was off. They found 2 masses on my ovaries the size of a lemon and a golf ball.”

‘After a yoga session, my spine slipped forward. I couldn’t move. I couldn’t roll over. I was a vegetable.’: Woman with Spondylolisthesis, chronic illness claims ‘pain is inevitable,’ but ‘suffering is optional’

“I remember laying in bed, feeling trapped inside myself. I had no idea at the time this injury would turn my world upside down and become the barometer for all the decisions I made for the rest of my life. Working, having a family, being active, or doing all the things a normal 30-something-year-old should do are no longer an option.”

‘I was vomiting. My doctor said it was because I was ‘promiscuous’. Others said it was from grief, after my mom hung herself.’: Woman with chronic illness says pain ‘robbed her of so much,’ but won’t rob her ‘passion for living’

“The pain got so bad. I pulled over on the side of the freeway and called my dad, begging him to come get me. I became confused, disoriented. I remember thinking I could understand why my mother took her own life. It made me realize I either had to fight for my own health, or continue to fade away. I had to be stronger than my mom was. I couldn’t stop fighting.”

‘Help!’ I banged on the wall. My parents were downstairs. I reached for my nebulizer, but quickly realized something was wrong. This is when I remember feeling very calm and a sense of peace.’: Young woman learns ‘lesson’ after near-death experience from whooping cough

“Before bed, my dad asked if I needed to go the the hospital. As a stubborn 19 year old, I somehow talked my way out of it. I told him I was ‘fine’. The next thing I remember, my parents were rushing downstairs. They immediately tried to put my nebulizer mask on, but for some reason I was pushing it away. I woke up in an ambulance. I still feel guilty about that night.”

‘Her hair loss isn’t from stress.’ The pleasant chit-chat stopped. ‘There’s no cure for this.’: Little girl diagnosed with Alopecia starts head scarf company to ‘help all of the bald kids’

“We noticed a handful of brown curls on Rosie’s pillow. ‘Maybe she’s stressed about the new baby?’ The next morning, even more curls. ‘Maybe she’s allergic to her shampoo?’ Monday came and the last of her hair fell out. Our pediatrician assured us it was stress. It wasn’t. Our hope that this would be a temporary condition, even a funny story someday, slowly faded. Instead, we had to get used to the unkind stares and finger-pointing.”

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