Normally, when I make a post, I like to do at least a little research, come to some kind of conclusion, and then write a post in a retrospective manner. This time, however, I am writing out of frustration.
For quite some time, my mom and I have lamented about various medical problems that plague us. Many that are similar, some that we don’t share, and most that are almost identical. We talk to each other the most about it because, while many people in our lives understand or accept that these issues exist, none of them fully comprehend just how deep they go except for us.
So we talk about it. A lot.
We frequently search for answers and, frankly, we quite often find something that matches and say “aha! This must be it!” with excitement and relief, only to find things that don’t match or worse, something ELSE that does. Over time we have collected disorders that we show some signs of. We have forged our own form of communication around them with phrases like “weird neck pain thing” and “dizzy heaviness” or “that stretchy-throbby feeling” to describe specific things that don’t make sense to anyone else… but somehow seem to happen to both of us frequently.
So, we get told by a lot of people that we imagine it. Or that we are overreacting. Or that we are hypochondriacs. Even more often we simply get the looks of pity and shame that read “making it up for attention and sympathy”.
One thing I wish people understood are that these things we deal with are REAL. They are exhausting. They HURT more than you could imagine, and most of all we really just want to be taken seriously. We have been given diagnosis after diagnosis but none of them fit just right. We have looked for our own, after getting tired of hearing doctors play us off or trivialize our issues.
We still don’t know what it is, but we think we are getting closer, at least we hope we are. In the meantime, though, please, please don’t shrug us off. We know what hypochondria is. We don’t have that. We don’t have cancer; we don’t have some strange fungus or any viral infection. What we do have is something that HURTS, something that is EXHAUSTING, something that doesn’t make ANY SENSE, and that is misunderstood. We just want some understanding, and sometimes, just a little bit of guilt-free help. Trust me, we feel permanently guilty and like we are a burden, so the best thing you can do for either of us, is find what stresses us the most, and try to alleviate some of it.
Or buy us more of our favorite escape method. (Mine is whiskey in case anyone wanted to know.)
Or just let us sleep. For the love of life just let us sleep! Please!
This post goes out to anyone else that suffers with an invisible illness of any kind; mental disorders, chronic pain disorders, or issues with your nervous system. We understand. We believe you. And we are in the same gray area just looking for a way out.
Have a beautiful day, and remember, if someone needs sympathy… show it.