chronic pain

‘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.’”

‘I wouldn’t mind if I didn’t wake up.’ I was starving for love, I wanted to be someone’s whole universe.:’ Young woman with Borderline Personality Disorder describes issues with love and boundaries, says she is fighting and working on ME’

“I started crying a lot and cutting myself. I began smoking cigarettes and drinking. I was stoned all the time. I still missed my father. Every time I saw him in town, he walked away. He ignored me, pretending I didn’t exist. And he still does, and has for 11 years.”

‘This is clearly a case of anorexia. You’re a teenage ballerina refusing food.’: Woman with MALS is misdiagnosed for 20 years, ‘I was now convinced. They were doctors. They had to be right, right?’

“For as long as I can remember, I’ve been nauseous. I had lost 40 pounds. I started to find that the harder I worked, the more stamina I lost. The weaker I got. My body would physically swell. Then the horribly loud and embarrassing belching developed. ‘I really don’t think you need these tests. I believe your symptoms are psychosomatic.’ The doctors all told me it was anxiety. It was ‘in my head’ and I needed to ‘push past it and challenge myself.’ I would remain misdiagnosed, dismissed, and passed off, for another full year.”

‘Did yoga do this to you?’ I woke up seeing double. Things took a turn. ‘I know it’s a lot to take in.’ I was shocked.’: Young woman comes to terms with multiple sclerosis diagnosis, ‘I won’t let this hold me back’

“I remember sitting in the waiting room. I lost all control of myself and burst into tears. What if the MS diagnosis was wrong? It felt wrong! I just wanted to opt-out of this, but there was no way. Still crying, I signed my name. All I felt was a little pinch before I went completely numb.”

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

“’Great, how do we get rid of it?’ The look on my doctor’s face immediately made my stomach drop. ‘There is no known cure.’ Everything I ate caused intense pain and had me running to the toilet. When I told my boyfriend, he nodded and we drove home in silence. I told him if he wanted to end the relationship I would understand.”

‘What’s that? It could be something sinister. You might have a tumor.’ I got fired for being ill.’: Young woman diagnosed with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome after countless tests, ‘I was getting sicker and sicker, but with no answers’

“I was sobbing in bed one night angry at God. ‘Why won’t you take the pain away?!’ I had worked so hard despite being unwell, pushing myself to achieve. I got the grades to study music, my true passion, but was too unwell to go! I was gutted. The emergency doctor uttered the word ‘stroke.’ I was in disbelief. I was only 19 years old.”

‘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.”

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