chronic pain

‘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.”

‘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.”

‘There’s no way to cure it. The pain can be crippling. It can also cause infertility.’: Woman suffering severe endometriosis undergoes 10 surgeries, says ‘no wonder I had that miscarriage last year’

“‘Does the pain shoot down the back of your legs?,’ my friend asked. ‘Yes. It feels like knives carving me out from the inside. But my doctor doesn’t believe it’s worse than typical period cramps.’ I made an appointment with what felt like my millionth doctor. Narcotics didn’t work, CBD didn’t work, ibuprofen didn’t touch it. I have kids and work and life to live, I can’t be laying down all day every day. I didn’t want to allow the pain of endometriosis to make me a bitter person.”

‘Minutes after being born the doctors noticed my skin peeling from just being wrapped in the typical blanket they use with newborns’. Woman describes the pain of living with Recessive Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa

“There’s often the misconception my illness is not a big deal and it’s ‘just a skin condition.’ If my illness was as minor as people tend to believe I wouldn’t have lost the ability to walk over the years, or my hands wouldn’t be webbing from years of scarring and friction.”

‘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.”

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