30 Things About My Invisible Illness You May Not Know

1. The illness I live with is: Fibromyalgia
2. I was diagnosed with it in the year: 2005
3. But I had symptoms since: 1984
4. The biggest adjustment I’ve had to make is: Giving up my full-time retail management job of 18 years.
5. Most people assume: That I'm not sick and that I'm making up my illness.
6. The hardest part about mornings are: Trying to work through the stiffness.
7. My favorite medical TV show is: N/A
8. A gadget I couldn’t live without is: A jar opener and a Mr. Clean Magic Reach Mop.  Both have been great additions to my household to help me be able to be self sufficient.
9. The hardest part about nights are: When I wake up and can't fall back to sleep.
10. Each day I take _0_ pills & 4 vitamins. (No comments, please) I only take vitamins.  I am doing a natural approach.
11. Regarding alternative treatments I: Look to the simple and inexpensive alternatives like yoga, meditation, crystal therapy, chakra clearing, and aroma therapy.
12. If I had to choose between an invisible illness or visible I would choose: I wouldn't change my invisible illness for anything.  It has taught me a lot about my strengths and weaknesses.  I've also met many, many new friends that I would not have had otherwise.
13. Regarding working and career: My career is now very different since I'm a stay-at-home mom and a writer and it took some time to get used to, but this is how I chose to reinvent myself.
14. People would be surprised to know: That I get very run down by 3 pm and I have to do something physical while drinking coffee to stay awake.
15. The hardest thing to accept about my new reality has been: The guilt of not being able to do what I used to.
16. Something I never thought I could do with my illness that I did was: Hike.  I love to hike, but stopped for a while when I first got ill.  I just recently went on a short hike and found that I still can do what I love.  The hike may be much shorter than I used to do, but I can still do it.
17. The commercials about my illness: Are awful!  The only thing that pills will help with is depleting your funds.  The pills I've seen are only geared for one or two symptoms-- not all of them.  Diet, lifestyle changes, a strong and positive will, and exercise are the best ways to deal with this beast-- in my opinion.
18. Something I really miss doing since I was diagnosed is: Enjoying the change in seasons and dancing.
19. It was really hard to have to give up: Working.
20. A new hobby I have taken up since my diagnosis is: Indoor Gardening.
21. If I could have one day of feeling normal again I would: Play whatever my kids' hearts desire.
22. My illness has taught me: That you define yourself not your job.
23. Want to know a secret? One thing people say that gets under my skin is: When healthy people think that my being tired is like their being tired.
24. But I love it when people: Understand what I go through.
25. My favorite motto, scripture, quote that gets me through tough times is: The Show Must Go On
26. When someone is diagnosed I’d like to tell them: That there is hope in having a somewhat normal life.
27. Something that has surprised me about living with an illness is: That life can still be pretty normal.
28. The nicest thing someone did for me when I wasn’t feeling well was: Make me a cup of coffee.  This may sound weird, but I couldn't lift the coffee pot at one point during my illness and had to ask my husband to make it for me.
29. I’m involved with Invisible Illness Week because: I believe in this and I'm passionate about it.
30. The fact that you read this list makes me feel: Understood.
Find out more about National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week and the 5-day free virtual conference with 20 speakers Sept 14-18, 2009 at www.invisibleillness.com

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