September is Chronic Pain Awareness Month and September 8-15, 2013 is Invisible Illness Awareness Week. Today I am asking all my friends to stand with me and wear leggings (or other non-pants) to show support in a slightly “invisible” way.
For millions of people an invisible illness is part of their daily lives. Nearly 1 in 2 Americans suffer from a chronic illness. 96% of those people have a condition that is invisible. From Celiac to Depression. From Chron’s to Complex Regional Pain Syndrome. I have friends who suffer from Lyme disease and Hashimoto’s. Friends who have crippling adrenal fatigue and life threatening food allergies. And yet, when you see photos of us all together, you would not be able to guess that any of us were sick, in pain or in an epic battle for our bodies. That is how we all want it. We want to be just like everyone else.
I have written a few times about what it means to live with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, fighting for hope, why I write about it, and the things that the disease and the treatments have taken from me.
And although FrannyCakes is a place for revenge cookies (which are totally a thing) and cupcake therapy. It is also a place that I hope I can show you that being sick and being young isn’t the end of a full life. Just like being gluten-free isn’t a sentence to a life of bad dessert, pizza and pasta.
Every bit I share of my story, I share so maybe someone thinks before they sit in the handicapped seat on the train or park in the handicap spot. I share so that maybe someone won’t give me a sideways look when I go through the security line at the airport in a wheel chair because I can’t stand in the line. I share so the next time a server gets a request for extra care with a meal they know just how serious it is. I share because I have eaten one too many beany brownies. I share because even the most well-meaning friend doesn’t understand the toll this condition takes on my body. I share because I don’t understand it either.
Because this is my story. The friends and the family. The triumphs, the trials and the food.
A girl living life. A girl who just happens to have a body with robotic parts and an aversion to wheat and shellfish. A girl on an adventure.
Please help me spread the word that an invisible illness is both very real and very much just a detail in a list of the things that make me me.
And thank you so very much for coming on this ride with me.