10 Things You Don't See with Chronic Illness

10 Things You Don’t Always See with Chronic Illness

Chronic illness isn’t new to me. I grew up with an incredibly strong mother living with Lupus/Fibromyalgia/Arthritis. She even had both hips replaced at the same time! I know, what a badass right? One of the earliest memories I have, is trying to swing from my mom’s bed trapeze (the aid to help her sit up in bed). And quickly being told, sternly, that it was not a toy 😛. As a child, I saw glimpses of strength and resilience whenever my mom would walk without an aid, or walk instead of using a wheelchair at an amusement park. I saw my mom have good days and very bad days and because of that, I believe it contributed to developing the strong empathy I have towards others today.

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My Fibromyalgia Diagnosis + Lupus Investigation

I was diagnosed a few weeks ago with Fibromyalgia by my Rheumatologist.

I first saw the Rheumatologist last year when my chronic bladder pain started, to see if there was something autoimmune going on, such as Lupus. My mother was diagnosed with Lupus at 18, so naturally that’s where we started to investigate, so I went in to see her doctor at a Toronto Lupus Clinic. They did a Lupus Panel last year but results were negative so I didn’t go back for a follow up and just continued the wait to see the Urologist and Endometriosis specialist. But it’s been a year since that appointment and lately I’ve been beginning to feel constant pain in my joints and muscles in different areas of my body and I rarely feel rested when I wake up from a “decent” nights sleep.So I went and after some discussion about these symptoms and the doctor doing a tender point examination to determine my pain level by applying pressure to various areas on my body, he said I’m suffering from Fibromyalgia.

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Stop Should-ing On Yourself

Sometimes, I think I shouldn’t find being sick so hard.

I tell myself, to ‘get it together. You aren’t doing this alone. You have a great supportive boyfriend, family and friends (and now all of you online warriors! 👋🏻).’ But then my thoughts begin to spiral… ‘You don’t even have the responsibility of a child to look after yet. How will you look after them when you can barely move right now? It should not be this painful to do what most people do without much thought, like taking a shower, cooking dinner, and even just walking across the room. These are some examples of thoughts running through my head. This is chronic illness. It is a total (excuse my language)…mindfuck. You’re constantly trying to talk yourself out of these negative thoughts… because they are JUST thoughts, not reality. And it is exhausting.

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