I recently wrote about a bad experience involving a dry cleaner, a handicap spot, and a garden hose to be turned on me if I didn’t move my car (it didn’t end well). Within a very short period of time, I received numerous comments from all over the world, sharing their stories as well.
I think you will find that the lack of awareness and compassion they received from others was pretty mind blowing.
Invisible illnesses are not typically saved for the elderly. Most diseases are contracted by women during their child bearing years. Since we have many years ahead of us, we try to live as fully as possible, enjoying life like everyone else.
At least we try too.
Below are just a few stories of everyday life with chronic illness. Never forget that [bctt tweet=”we are turtles and you are rabbits. We will finish the race, it will just be at a different pace. “] Feel free to slow down.
Have any of these situations happened to you?
**I was walking up a ramp with my cane and was struggling with the incline. Someone walked up behind me and said, “Could you walk any slower?”
**I was told by a doorman that I couldn’t use the disabled toilet because I wasn’t disabled
**A woman started shouting at my mum for parking in a disabled bay, even though she was getting my wheelchair out of car at the time
**I had a waitress refuse to bring my coffee over to my table for me. Why?….she said I didn’t look disabled
**I had another handicap person block my car in because she said there weren’t any more spots and she needed to park
**Imagine the scene….your in ” Tesco’s “, buying some drinks for your HOUSEWARMING party and you get the feeling your being watched, its only 11.30am…..so you get in the queue, which is quite busy. It’s your turn to be served, and the next thing you know, your being told, ” Sorry Madam, I can’t serve you “. Then a man behind you taps you on the shoulder and says, “We think you’ve had enough, already”. So you resort to showing him your disability bus-pass, just to prove you have an illness ( invisible ) and your NOT drunk
**Parked in disabled bay. Have blue badge and crutches. One woman said I was too young to use that space
**I’ve had taxis drive away refusing to take me saying I was drunk
**I am always getting honked at for not walking fast enough in crosswalks. One guy almost ran me over while there was still time on the light
**I was ignored in the emergency room because they said I looked fine – I had a tan. I couldn’t breathe and was in an autoimmune crisis and almost blacked out before they helped me
**I was asked by a bouncer in a bar what drugs I’d taken because I was dizzy and sleepy. He didn’t believe that I wasn’t high until I showed my disabled bus pass
**When my son was about 4 we went to Petco Stadium’s “Park at the Park”. You pay $5 to watch the baseball game on a screen. The OWNER of the entire San Diego Padres team called twice to send someone over to enforce the NO lawn chairs allowed rule. At that time I could only sit in a low-to-the-ground-style chair, but not get on the ground. I’d already gotten permission before entering, but about 5 staff came over, (and everyone stared at us) while I explained that they had let me in with the chair when we told them of my illness… but after the owner called from the stands again because he still saw me (with his binoculars) we left
**I sat on the bus one day in the disabled seat and an old lady told me that I shouldn’t sit there, it was for the elderly. I pointed out I was disabled. She answered with, “Your not disabled”. I brought up my crutch. She still didn’t believe me because in her mind, I was too young
**I hear that I’m to young to be ill as well yet I have been sick since birth
Have a story? Please share it in the comment section. The more awareness there is of the millions of people with an invisible disease, the more compassionate we all can become to our struggle.
About the Author
Lisa Douthit is the author of Wellness Warrior – Fighting for Life in Fabulous Shoes (lisadouthit.com/warriorbook) and a therapist who is passionate about healing from all perspectives. After struggling with multiple bouts of cancer and autoimmune disease, no one understands the physical, spiritual, and emotional rollercoaster better than she does and made it her mission to learn how to be well without perfect health. Lisa currently lives in Southern California with her husband and three children.