Starting on September 26 and going through October 2, it is considered invisible illness awareness week. I am all for bringing awareness to invisible illnesses, especially when it comes to my own, however, I think every day we should be aware that there are invisible illnesses. I know many of my friends who suffer from invisible illnesses. Not only do we suffer but our loved ones suffer because they are going through this journey with us. For me personally, I have 2 invisible illnesses. I have endometriosis, which I have to battle every day because of pain, as well as, chronic migraines. I have had migraines since I was 12 and hate them more than anyone can understand. I am allergic to certain foods that I love because they’ll trigger a migraine. For example, I can’t eat Chinese food because it’s got too much MSG and I’ll get very sick. I can’t eat any lunch meat, have to watch my dairy intake, can’t have a lot of caffeine (which means decaf coffee– so not the same), and a plethora of other things, including not being out in the heat for long periods of time. When I do get a migraine, it’s over. I am laid up in bed for hours, if not days at a time. I can’t see straight, my head hurts so bad it feels like I’m being hit in the head with a sledge hammer, my senses are off. I can’t take taste anything and can’t eat because my body won’t let me. My ears ring and my head throbs. The only thing I can do is lay in bed in the complete dark with a fan on to drown out the noise. This goes on for a few hours or a few days. It is one of the worst things a person can go through. Not to mention I get really ill, like throwing up and not being able to hold liquids down, which is a lose-lose situation because if I’m throwing up I can’t take my medicine to try to help me feel better.
We all know my battle with endometriosis. I was diagnosed this year but have been suffering from this disease much longer. I just found out that many women who have endometriosis don’t get diagnosed until they have been suffering anywhere from 8-10 years. This stat sounds right to me only based on what I’ve experienced. You all know through my blogs that my periods have been awful. I mean my lower stomach cramps so badly that I can’t walk, my lower back hurts so bad it hurts to bend over, my ovaries throb (or rather my ovary) and it just feels best to lay on the couch or in bed with my heating pad on my belly. I’ve had three surgeries this year to try to help me. All the surgeries resulting in scars on my belly and a new way of life. Endometriosis has changed me. I used to be so up tight and worrying about everything. I used to think about how things would be in the future. I used to think about the number of kids I would have and what their names would be. But this year has taught me that life is short. You can’t worry about the unknown. I can pray and hope and be thankful for what I have. I have the pleasure of getting married in one of the most beautiful places on earth. I am marrying my best friend who has been with me on this crazy journey. I have learned to let go of the people that are toxic in my life and embrace life more than ever. I have learned through endometriosis that personal reflection is going to get me to better places in life. Endometriosis has taken my emotions through a roller coaster but if I wasn’t on this journey I wouldn’t be able to appreciate my life in the here and now.
Finally, having an invisible illness makes life hard. However, when you have an invisible illness you need to have a partner in life that understands you and loves you through and through. I have to say that your partner has to be strong. They have to be there with you, they have to understanding when you are sick. There is a lot of guilt a person with an invisible illness has to deal with. There are many days that we have to ask for help because we simply can’t function. There are so many times when I wish I could thank Russell for everything he has done for me. But the most important thing I wish he understood is that I am blessed to have him. Not only is here there for me and takes care of me, but he prays for me. Each person needs to be with someone who is going to pray for them. He is my light at the end of the this dark tunnel. One day things won’t be like this and I’ll remember how hard this time in our lives was and I’ll be able to be thankful for this journey.
Please say a prayer for your friends and family going through an invisible illness. Every day is an uphill battle and every day we need support, love and prayer.
Until Next Time