People want to know about your illness, so they ask you. You explain it, but they still refuse to believe you.
You think, ‘You just asked me and I just told you.’
They are thinking, ‘But they look OK on the outside.’
“The truth is, know one really knows what the illness or injury has damaged. We don’t know what is going on, on the inside. But we need to believe them,” says Wayne Connell, Invisible Disabilities Association founder and president.
Wayne shares seven points about invisible disabilities and how caregivers, family and friends can be a source of support. Wayne’s wife, Sherri lives with debilitating Progressive Multiple Sclerosis, Chronic Late Lyme Disease and Chemical Injury and together the two of them have made it their life’s mission to help other family’s cope with the challenges of living with invisible disabilities.
People battling various mild to severe debilitating conditions are often told they don’t look sick or in pain. Because others cannot see their symptoms of fatigue, cognitive dysfunctions, mental disorders or pain, they often do not believe the symptoms are real or they think the person must be lazy or exaggerating.
Contending with symptoms others cannot see, doctor appointments, therapies, medical bills and losses can be overwhelming enough without also battling for the support of friends and family.
Believing is the most important thing we can do. When a loved one says they are sick or in pain, believe. Just because we can’t see what they are battling on the inside, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. In fact, belief, validation and support can give a friend or family member the strength they need to continue the fight!
Invisible No More® is a campaign that was launched by the Invisible Disabilities Association to bring awareness to the challenges of living with invisible disabilities, education to friends and family and support to those living with debilitating conditions.
Invisible No More not only shines a light on what people living with disabilities contend with, but also on their incredible perseverance and courage. It is our hope that when friends and family watch these stories, they will begin to realize that their loved one’s story is just as amazing,
Thank you to the Chiari & Syringomyelia Foundation – CSF for hosting and recording this conference.