This week happens to be National Invisible Illness Awareness Week. Do you know anyone with an invisible illness? Did you know I have one?
It’s a week dedicated to supporting and educating about the many illness that people all around us deal with everyday. The organization puts together a questionnaire to teach others about specific illnesses. My responses are below.
Edited on November 1, 2014
1. The illness I live with is: Gastroparesis (GP), which is delayed gastric empyting. In simple terms my stomach doesn’t digest food, it stays in my stomach for too long. It’s broken.
2. I was diagnosed with it in the year: 2008
3. But I had symptoms since: childhood
4. The biggest adjustment I’ve had to make is: My entire diet and lifestyle.
5. Most people assume: I’m just constipated and need more fiber and water.
6. The hardest part about mornings are: I actually feel my best in the morning.
7. My favorite medical TV show is: I don’t really watch medical TV…
8. A gadget I couldn’t live without is:
My blender My Nutri Bullet
9. The hardest part about nights are: My nausea and fatigue set in. I also start to feel more bloated and stomach pains at the end of the day.
10. Each day I:
take 1 vitamin (either chewable or liquid dose) Take that day as unique. One day at a time.
11. Regarding alternative treatments I: Manage my life through diet and exercise.
12. If I had to choose between an invisible illness or visible I would choose: Invisible
13. Regarding working and career:
I’m a nanny, constantly moving during the day which helps my symptoms. I work for an incredible company with lots of flexibility. If I’m not feeling well I’ll usually work from home.
14. People would be surprised to know: That I eat jars of baby food on a regular basis.
15. The hardest thing to accept about my new reality has been: The ridiculously limited diet and the planning that needs to take place before eating. UGH!
16. Something I never thought I could do with my illness that I did was: Run the Boston Marathon!!
17. The commercials about my illness: what the heck is this question asking me?!
18. Something I really miss doing since I was diagnosed is: Eating raw vegetables. My favorite food.
19. It was really hard to have to give up:
Brown rice. I used to eat like a whole box of it at one time. The joy of eating at new restaurants and trying new foods.
20. A new hobby I have taken up since my diagnosis is: Blogging.
21. If I could have one day of feeling normal again I would: Poop!
22. My illness has taught me: How strong I really am.
23. Want to know a secret? One thing people say that gets under my skin is: “That seems like an unhealthy diet you’re on, eating only white starches” BAHHH you have no idea, I know this!! And, “well at least it keeps you skinny.” REALLY? I’d much rather eat like a normal person and manage my weight through a healthy lifestyle!
24. But I love it when people: Ask questions, are curious and want to learn more.
25. My favorite motto, scripture, quote that gets me through tough times is: This too shall pass.
26. When someone is diagnosed I’d like to tell them: To have patience, allow yourself time to learn about your body and find what works for you. Don’t get caught up in the anger of it, it’ll only make it worse.
27. Something that has surprised me about living with an illness is: That I do it everyday, without a choice.
28. The nicest thing someone did for me when I wasn’t feeling well was: Al is the best. He can tell when I’m having a bad flare up and knows when to step in and help out. He always makes sure I’m comfortable and lets me whine as much as I want.
29. I’m involved with Invisible Illness Week because: I have one!
30. The fact that you read this list makes me feel: Nervous? Did you know we were gonna talk about poop when you clicked open this post?
Feel free to comment with any questions you have for me, if any. I live everyday with this crappy broken stomach and am happy talking about it. Three years ago I was allowing it to control me each and every day. What I’ve learned since then is the amazing influence we each have on our own lives and our own health. I’ve learned about the things I’m grateful for and the things that have made me stronger. I’ve learned to have control over GP and not let it control me. Thanks for reading!
I’ll be back soon with lots of projects/house updates/seasonal posts. I have a list of about 60 that I should get writing…