Monday, September 12, will be the official beginning of Chronic Invisible Illness Awareness week. This blog post is dedicated to all those who deal with such an illness on a daily basis.
A chronic invisible illness can be defined as any chronic illness, diagnosed or not yet diagnosed, which causes pain and suffering and interferes with daily life over a long period of time or a life time; often not noticed by others because the patient does not “look sick.” A chronic invisible illness may be hard to diagnose. Since tests often come back normal for a number of years, and it is hard to pinpoint the right test for the right diagnosis, some doctors may refuse to recognize the problem as a real illness and may say that it is self-induced or psychological. This adds to the suffering and uncertainty the individual faces because it makes it harder for that person to get proper medical care for his or her condition.
Examples of chronic invisible illnesses include lupus, arthritis, gout, fibromyalgia, MS, diabetes, migraines and other headache disorders, and many more. So many people suffer from chronic invisible illnesses that there is even a ribbon to represent their cause and help develop awareness of these illnesses. The ribbon used is usually either a silver or white ribbon. A silver ribbon is also used as a general symbol for activism or awareness of a certain cause.
There are many people in my life who suffer from invisible illnesses. These include children and adults. One little boy suffers terrible migraines. Another has a problem that requires him to get a shot every night. A lady I know has diabetes and a relative and a friend both have fibromyalgia. Allison has Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. It is not an entirely invisible illness, but it is hard to diagnose. Because of this syndrome, Allison often suffers severe pain, must make multiple trips to doctors, endure painful tests and procedures, and deal daily with the many inconveniences this illness brings. In spite of these things, Allison has allowed God to use this illness to make her a vessel through which He pours out His love and the gospel message to others. Why not visit her CaringBridge site now. You will be glad you did. If you suffer from a chronic invisible illness, and would like your link added to our “Links we follow” page, please contact us and let us know.
I am not usually enthusiastic about following awareness days or awareness weeks, but I am blogging about this one because it holds a special interest to me. Many of my friends suffer from invisible illnesses, and I also have an invisible illness. In the process of trying to find information about my illness, I became a member of Arthritis Connect. It is amazing to realize that there at least 99,000 members on that site! There is so much pain in this world, and there are so many suffering people. The illnesses they have make it difficult for them to work, or to carry on a normal life, or, for some, even to get through a day. I pray that these posts will help raise awareness of how many people are hurting and in pain. May we, who know Christ, show His compassion to them and show them how great things the Lord has done for us and what great things the Lord can do for them.
Those of us who know the Lord have the same struggles of pain, weakness, and fatigue as those who don’t know Jesus. But we have our hope in that one day God will change our vile body into one made like unto His glorious body. Our struggles will turn into victories, and our sorrows will turn into everlasting joy and delight. I Corinthians 2:9 says, “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.”
Next week I will tell a little bit more about my invisible illness and include a list of things about my invisible illness that you may not know. Perhaps you would like to share some things about your own illness or just some interesting facts about yourself. :-) It would be fun to get to know some of our readers. Have a blessed day y’all!
This ribbon represents hope, courage, and faith. Isaiah 41:10 gives us these comforting words, "Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness." God is our hope, the source of our courage, and the object of our faith.