Explaining your invisible illness to others
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Living with a chronic condition and chronic pain is very challenging. And the support of the people surrounding you can really be of great help.
However, some illnesses are invisible (fibromyalgia, different types of arthritis, etc.), which means that you do not have external symptoms which can indicate to others that you are not feeling well. The biggest symptom of these conditions is pain which is difficult to see, understand and evaluate from the outside.
From your own experience, how difficult has it been for you to explain your condition to your family, friends, collegues? Did you succeed?
Have you got any examples of people misunderstanding and/or underestimating your condition?
Big challenge was my elderly mum who took a long time it seemed to 'get' the Fatigue, something way beyond just exhaustion and tiredness. Just having a nap not the solution for 'chemo-brain'.
Also the neuropathic pain, which feels cold like you've been running through snow. Keeping warm has little effect.
Hello D and Margarita,
What can you suggest I should do with my local GP, who just gave me the reply "Arthritis comes and goes and, as you are in the menopause, it could be pains related to that".......and we only have 1 doctor surgery on our little island!! I am 55 yrs old, I sleep really badly because of pain but cannot take anti inflammatory drugs or painkillers due to a fatty liver, I only use herbal teas and, when I can afford it, acupuncture....any suggestion on how to STEP OVER my GP please?
You could insist on a referral to a Rheumatologist from your GP as a process of elimination and request a blood test if you haven't had one to see if your ESR or CRP levels are raised as these are indicators for inflammation in the body or check our vitamin D levels.
I am not a doctor but see a Rheumatologist for RA and Osteoarthritis and indicator for this was raised levels? At that time did not have pain for about six months and it was being monitored but then woke up one day with pain ongoing stiffness throughout my body and as being warned by GP knew what it was and referred to Rheumatologist.
I also was going through the menapause at the same tine
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