Coming up in September 2013 is National Chronic Illness Awareness Week! This is a week that patients and caregivers have an excuse (for lack of a better word) to promote the illness that has affected their lives. Whether you are a caregiver or a patient with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction Syndrome (CFIDS) or Fibromyalgia (Fibro), PLEASE TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THIS OPPORTUNITY!!!
I talk to numerous people everyday, whether it is on Facebook, Twitter, email, this blog or via website submission; and all have a lot in common… no one understands them. Being a fellow patient I CAN RELATE and I UNDERSTAND. When I first told friends and family about being “sick” years ago (2004), the reaction was less than empathetic. Recently being in my 30s I experienced another rough battle with CFS symptoms. Being older I had different friends and family conditions had changed. I was hesitant to tell anyone about the reoccurrence in fear of a similar reaction. Wish I had a better result to report… it was still bad. BUT I LEARNED SOME IMPORTANT THINGS ABOUT CREATING AWARENESS ABOUT MY ILLNESS:
- If friends are upset, annoyed or angry that you can’t join in on all the activities you used to do… then they aren’t worth keeping around or being upset about
- You can’t expect people to understand if you don’t teach them
- Complaining or whining about your condition will not help; speaking positively with hope is easier received from friends/family/people that are uninformed about what you are battling
- You may lose some relationships during this process but the ones you gain will be true friendships full of love and understanding
- Don’t let your opinion of yourself determine what you THINK other people will see in you. While you may see yourself as disabled or a portion of your healthy self, you may still appear healthy to others that have been affected or around other illnesses.
Recently I was able to become genuinely happy with the things I am STILL able to do. It is not near what I used to be able to do… but it’s still something! I’m still breathing so I can make a difference.
Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week is running a campaign called “I CHOOSE TO…” I have LOTS of things I choose to do while living with a chronic illness. FIRST- I CHOOSE TO live a positive and passionate life still engaging in things I love (like travelling). And TWO- I CHOOSE TO make a difference and provide a resource to patients and their caregivers
WHAT DO YOU CHOOSE TO DO?
You can connect with Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week to help spread the word at the sites listed below:
For more information on CFS / CFIDS, you can reference other blog posts as well
Things I’m passionate about. I CHOOSE TO…
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