Hi everyone, I’d like to give you a small insight into what life is like for someone like me, who lives with chronic illness. I have Hypermobility Syndrome, Nasal Polyps, Anxiety, Asthma, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, slight hearing loss and Allergies. It’s not fun but I get by.
You have to get used to living with chronic pain, paranoia and discomfort if you want to have a decent life. These conditions also cause: embarrassment – as you get stared at, pre-judged, bullied and sometimes punished, for reasons beyond your control; insomnia – stress and pain keeps you up almost every night and makes it difficult for you to sleep; and a sense of being alone – you feel like no one understands what you’re going through, people rarely make allowances or try to get to know you before they decide what’s actually “wrong” with you.
People say they understand, but unless you have a chronic illness yourself, you will never understand. I have to deal with joint and muscle pain, tense and muscles, twitching and spasms, subluxes, clicking and cracking joints when I move, constant headaches of varying severities (from mild to migraines), stuffy nose, dizziness, breathlessness and wheezing, EVERY. SINGLE. DAY, but that won’t stop me from achieving my goals in life to have my own family and support myself with a decent job in health and social care. My anxiety may also get the better of me but I’m improving every single day. A year ago I couldn’t emotionally cope with maintaining eye contact in a conversation, or ask a bus driver for a ticket without being on the verge of a panic attack, but now I can do all the things I couldn’t do. I have learned to deal with my conditions properly. I’m happy despite my conditions, even though I do have bad days every so often.
I appreciate it when people are kind, forgiving, patient, loyal and loving, despite my conditions. I hate it when others judge me, bully me, laugh at me, say that I’m exaggerating, etc. For example, at school I was told by my physiotherapist that I shouldn’t do Physical Education due to pain and likely dislocations, but my teachers wouldn’t listen and labelled me as lazy. At college currently (2017/2018), I get laughed and stared at, and many students AND some teachers find me annoying. I know many people have to deal with situations similar to mine on a daily basis, some people have it 10X worse than me. But I want to make one thing clear: if you ever message me with any issues, I won’t undermine you or tell you your problems aren’t relevant, because everybody has issues in life, and everybody deals with them differently, but you are still important and your conditions and experiences are valid and should not be ignored or disregarded!
I know that some days may be so bad that we can’t push through the pain and get on with daily activities, but you shouldn’t feel guilty about things that are beyond your control! It’s difficult enough to live chronic pain and illness on a daily basis, we don’t need any more negativity in our lives -Chloe Brooksbank