Family, Friends and Fibro

Some days, it feels like I am walking in the fog.
(c) 2011 LMRNeas
In this post, I will be discussing the pros and cons of a silent illness as it appears with family and friends. Since I cannot speak for every person with a silent illness, I am inviting those who also suffer to add their voices to this post by sharing their stories. When we tell our stories, we help ourselves as well as others.

I began having arthritis symptoms as a child, after several bouts of what was then called, "scarletina."  My knees would become hot, swollen, and enflamed. My hands would ache. However, blood tests for rheumatoid arthritis always came back negative. 

I remember being told by family members to "stop pretending" that I was sick.  As a child, when the adults around you don't believe you, it leaves scars that take years to heal.

As I grew older, I would get strep throats so bad that my throat would close. I would be rushed to the hospital for massive doses of penicillin.  I r…

You're Sick, Again!?

There have been times in the lives of people with silent diseases, illnesses, or syndromes when they have heard, "You're sick, again?" in a tone that lets them know that the person speaking these words is done. They can come from family, friends or from those at work. How can you respond to this?

First, let me say that hearing this is like someone running their nails down a blackboard. If a person with a silent illness hears this regularly, it can cause emotional and mental stress, which then leads to a host of other issues. Having someone to talk, someone who understands the condition as well as your history, is key to staying on an even keel.

Additionally, knowing how to respond, what to say and how to explain your condition so that others can understand is very important. This takes courage. Too many of us simply shut down. We either walk away, give some cursory answer that does nothing to enlighten the speaker of the irritating words, or explode from pent up frustratio…