Invisible Illness 2009 comes to a close today. It does not mean that if you suffer from an invisible illness or love someone who does you should stop blogging and stop talking about those invisible conditions. It estimated that 25% of the population from some kind of invisible disease. More than half of those people suffer from more than one condition. Only 7% of persons with an invisible condition will use a wheelchair, cane or crutches. The rest suffer in silence. Because of this, we encounter sociocultural indifference and support is limited. Moreover, many invisible diseases even remain controversial even by the standards of the medical community.
There are more than 80 autoimmune diseases that are known to the medical community, and the majority of those invisible conditions. Because of that, there is much indifference when it comes to cultural and social views of such conditions. For example, diabetes, heart disease and cancer are considered invisible diseases, but no one would ever question the limitations of those who suffer from those conditions. Yet, that happens for individuals who suffer from Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Lupus or Rheumatoid Arthritis.
I know there will not be cures for many of the autoimmune diseases that exist, including RA, not in my lifetime at least. I know that Fibromyalgia, RA, and CFS are a part of my life and I have been for quite some time, and a cure is something that is currently out of reach, but I can lower my expectations. I can deal without a cure and I can live my life. However, I want more understanding for myself and for others who suffer from invisible conditions such as these. I don’t want to always explain to others how these conditions affect me, and how taking a vitamin or two, eating better, or even exercising isn’t going to make these diseases go away. These conditions are on their own schedule, and not mine.
So I ask of my fellow bloggers who suffer from an invisible illness or who have a loved one suffering from an invisible condition to keep blogging and keep making their voices heard. Awareness is the next thing to a cure.