I swear that the next person that looks down their nose at me and tells me that I don’t look sick is going to get a slap in the mouth with a mouldy kipper.
Just because I don’t have an illness that jumps out at you with jazz hands and goes, “TA-DAH!” doesn’t mean I’m not sick. Get a fucking grip people!
I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis when I was 19 years old. Every single day was spent in pain, and I had to fight hard to overcome that pain. It didn’t help that I had zero empathy and butt loads of violence from my ex. I felt like a zombie just swimming through a swamp of pain. Soooooooo not fun.
Yet despite all that, I fought through to have a career as a nurse and give birth to my two wonderful children. They gave me all the reason that I needed keep going and to escape and flee back home.
However, in February of 2009, things started to get worse. A lot worse. I had been experiencing a worsening of my pain and feeling more and more sluggish and unable to focus. Everything felt foggy and it sounded some days as if I was listening to sound from down the end of a tunnel. A tunnel stuffed with wet cotton wool.
Then one morning near the end of February, I couldn’t move. The pain was that intense. I tried to lift my head up off the pillow and my world just went dizzy and exploded into a mass of sparkles! I was absolutely terrified. I managed to force myself to grab my mobile and called my best friend to come round and help with the boys. I bit the crap out of the inside of my mouth to avoid crying out when I moved before they set off for school
Then my friend came back and took me to see my GP. My GP immediately sent me to see a Rheumatologist. He sent me for so many different scans and X-rays. At the end of it all, he told me that on top of my R.A that I also had fibromyalgia and osteoporosis. I just burst into tears.
It has taken me five years and a further diagnosis of hypermobile EDS added to my list to make me accept that this was pretty much how life was for me. During that time I had been told that my physical ill health along with my mental health had combined to make me unfit to work. I was heartbroken.
This set of illnesses invited themselves into my body without my permission and slowly started to knock me on my ass. By May of 2009 I had no choice but to go into my wheelchair (A.K.A the witches’ chariot). As time moved on, things became more and more difficult for me, and have continued to become impossible until I now need a full time carer. Now that really fucking hurts.
But you know what the worst thing is? Being told (mainly by older people, but not exclusively) that I don’t “look” sick. That I should go to bed early to eliminate the bags under my eyes and not be tired. (Fuck, if only it was that easy!) As I said at the start of my rant that I could quite cheerfully slap the next person that tells me I don’t look sick. You want my pain for just ten minutes? Just to prove to you how sick I am? Be my fucking guest. What really sucks is being wheeled into a hospital/doctor’s waiting room and being glowered at by elderly people. They are filled with resentment over my being in a wheelchair, I promise you! They mainly mutter things to their wrinkled, hate filled cronies that I can’t quite hear, but they glare at me as they say things. The worst one that I actually overheard was one old bitch turned and said to the old bitch sat next her, “Look at that baggage! She’s got no business being in that chair, she’s far too young!” What the fuck? Since when did disability have an age limit you stupid old hag? Seriously, that hurtful, hate filled comment almost broke me.
So the next time you tell me that I don’t look sick, keep your eyes out for the mouldy kipper that will be shortly connecting with your jaw.