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  • Writer's pictureJo Fontana

We need to stop believing the myth that all illnesses are visible

It’s been a while since I’ve posted. Even when I have tight deadlines, I’m usually able to pull something off last minute. This time was different and I needed some time to recuperate. About two and a half weeks ago, I learned a very important lesson; no one can control when their body betrays them—they can only control preventable factors of illness.

For most of my life, I have been extremely healthy. I was never hospitalized except for the birth of my children. If I had an infection, I received antibiotics to treat it, and the infection went away. I rarely got the flu and I was blessed with only a mild case of chicken pox as a kid. I’m thankful that my parents were pro vaccines.

Getting older hasn’t really been a problem. The worst thing that happened to me was that I discovered at the age of forty-five that my eyesight wasn’t what it had once been. I needed brighter lights and readers to see. That’s definitely nothing to complain about.

Shortly after that, I had been having some minor health problems that started about two and a half years ago. I’m finally in a place where the conservative treatments have been utilized with no benefit—the condition gets worse when it reappears. I’m finally getting ready for a minor surgical procedure.

The really frustrating part of this all, is that while I’ve had problems, I don’t look ill. I just feel tired and sometimes have trouble concentrating. I have less energy and I’ve needed more time to recuperate from what sent me to the emergency room. Hence not being able to keep up with my normal blogging schedule. In a perfect universe, I could will myself better. In real life, not so much. I’m thankful to have been able to get a second opinion and finally have it taken care of once and for all.

So, the next time a friend tells you they have been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, MS, or something else, cut them some slack. And remember, not every disability is a visible one. Now, when I see someone park in a handicapped spot that doesn’t look obviously handicapped, I pause and remember that.

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