invisible illness

‘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.”

‘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.”

‘Please Mom, I don’t want to leave. I promise I’ll be good. I don’t like myself very much.’: Sister’s heartbreaking tribute to her late big brother who society deemed ‘the bad kid’

“I’d watched life treat my brother Glen so unfairly. I wanted so badly for something to go right for him. One night, he was extremely upset. My father picked my mom and I up. Glen called us to see where we were, and I still remember her last words to him. ‘We’re giving you space for the night, but we want to help you, Glen.’ The next morning, we were greeted by my dog at the front door. She was crying.”

‘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.”

‘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.”

‘I did a quick 20 minutes on the elliptical at the student gym. When I woke up in the morning, I couldn’t lift my head.’ Woman describes freak accident after typical gym workout

“I was only 18. I had my whole life ahead of me. I was a freshman at my dream college, making friends, and discovering myself. I knew my life and body would never be the same. I could no longer walk and fell to the ground. The pain was unbearable. The workout was nothing I hadn’t done a hundred times before.”

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