"Unseen" illnesses

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  1. Does anyone have an illness that you can't see just by looking at you, like diabetes, depression, MS, lupus, etc., and have some people in your life who don't take your illness seriously or act like you're exaggerating things when you have a day when you're feeling really sick?
  2. Osteoarthritis (if you look at my hands you can see) and fibromyalgia. I've talked a lot about my depression too. some people don't understand what they can't see, so it's hard on days when I'm feeling really bad, but nothing looks different. Dh has no health problems, so he has a hard time understanding.
  3. I'm sorry about your health problems. I am experiencing some health problems now, some numbness, tingling, weakness, etc., and I have an appointment with a neurologist soon.

    I have people in my life trying to downplay myproblems, and I want to curse them out so bad.
  4. I'm glad you will be seeing a specialist. Either they think they are being "positive" by downplaying your symptoms, which isn't helpful at all, or they just have no sympathy for others.

    At times I've had the symptoms you mentioned (eventually they figured out it wasn't serious, but I had a ton of tests) and it's frightening, because it could be very serious. My mind would always think the worst.

    I hope the doctor can at least tell you what it's not. Sometimes that helps. Keep us posted on how you're doing. Many of us here will understand.
  5. Oh yes. I have rheumatiod arthritis. When I first was hit with it before I got my diagnosis, I was having horrible joint pain, plus hands, knees and feet were so swollen I could not get my daily jewerly on or shoes on. My husband actually said "don't you think you are pumping this up a bit" in other words he thought I was "faking"..!
  6. Oh gosh, almost every single day. My doctors believe I have SLE, and just a few months ago I began the treatment meds for it, and it has been quite a roller coaster, especially through the diagnostic process. I have had people not understand that although I might look absolutely fine on the outside, I feel bad at times on the inside. The people around me don't understand my limits, when I say I can't do something, that I don't feel well, no one seems to take it seriously, and it's really disheartening at times. Before I got doctors to actually believe my symptoms and see the evidence/tests, I had doctors not even believe me!! I had some just hand me a card to a psychologist and they dismissed me, it was awful. And it's also difficult because, for me, I don't like telling people around me that I see almost every single day about my health, many people obviously just don't understand, others don't listen(HATE HATE that), and I am hesistant in telling people. Sometimes, I feel my family doesn't even really understand.
    Well, I can go on and on ranting about this, so I will just stop here, lol. But, nounderwire, if you ever want to talk or anything, feel free to PM me. I have found that it helps so much to talk to someone who is experiencing things like this, I have met a few very kind people here on tPF who are somewhat in the same boat as me, and it has helped tremendously talking to someone who can emphathize. I will pray that everything turns out okay for you!!
  7. Purplekitty, I know exactly what you are feeling, especially when you said you've had doctors hand you a card for a psychologist. That's kind of what happened to me. I told my doctor all my symptoms, and she was very nice about it, but at the end, she asked me if I thought my symptoms were because of anxiety or whether they were actual symptoms.

    Thanks for the well wishes, and I hope everything turns out well for you too. I will keep you in mind if I need to PM someone about this. :biggrin:
  8. yep, and i am on medication, for palpitations/blood pressure..and the dosage increases every few months because it's not working:confused1:...tests have all said I am fine, I am trying to get an appoinment with a specialist but we'll see. I know some of it is due to anxiety, it's not a coincidence if the thought of dying is always in your head, it's going to affect your body. I am just paranoid, can't help it.

    and my mom constantly tells me it's all in my head, she never takes anything I say seriously....yeah, like painful palpiations that start out of nowhere and stabbing pains are just in my head...whatever
  9. The feelings are real, regardless of cause. After feeling awful and frightened for a period of time with people not taking you seriously, of course you become anxious too!! It's a vicious circle.

    It's why I try to remember when I see an apparently able-bodied person with a handicapped tag and wonder about it--they may have a disability that I can't see.
  10. Yup. I got more than my fair share, and my medicine cabinet looks like a well-stocked pharmacy.

    1) Degenerative Disc Disease. My spine is crumbling. If you see me say sitting in a regular chair, or laying down, you'd never know I can't walk.
    2) Depression. This one is a biggy because it augments everything else you feel, such as pain and anxiety. People who don't suffer from chronic depression just can't get it through their heads that we can't just "snap out of it" or "look at all you have!" and how hard it is to do just day to day things.
    3) Arthritis in both hands, most major joints. I am miserable in the winter until my body adjusts to the colder temps. Yup, I'm one of those people who can tell it's going to rain too, my left knee aches the day before.
    4) The DDD has progressed to my neck, my hands go numb at the weirdest times, and I hear "crunchies" in my head when I turn it in a certain way. Sounds a lot like when you crack your knuckles, only in your head. A "pop" sound.
    5) I've got a 5 mm (at least it was 5 mm four months ago) non-calcified nodule in my right lung. An oncologist (cancer doc) is keeping an eye on it.

    At least for me, I have the accutrements of being disabled, IE: wheelchair, canes, etc. I have a friend who has Fibromyalgia, and has handicapped plates, yet she looks perfectly normal. She's had people call the cops on her for using someone else's handicapped parking permit, even when she offers to show the papers are made out to her! I've seen her however, when she could hardly move fast enough to chase a snail.

    I also had another friend who, no matter what someone else had, she had it too, or worse. Problem is, ALL she talked about was her medical problems, what medication she was on, how stupid the local docors are, how the pharmacy she used always screwed up her prescriptions, ect. She also had a high pitched "whiny" type voice and weighed almost 400 pounds. Me and her other friends would literally tune her out completely. The sad part is, everyone was so used to her complaining that we no longer took her seriously, and she died in her sleep at the age of 46 of a heart attack.

    I've slowly lost the ability to so many things I did when I was healthier, if I think about it or dwell on it too much, I just shove myself into a deeper despair, so I try not to think about it. Having this laptop saved my life in more ways than one, it gives me a way to reach out to so many other people I wouldn't have known otherwise. If I should die tomorrow, at least I made some kind of mark on this earth.

    ETA: Opps! Totally forgot about the High Blood Pressure and Insomnia I'm being treated for too. And ohhhh yeah, back when I frst injured my back, instead of doing a CT scan on my spine, they told me I needed a shrink. To this DAY I am still so angry at the treatment I got because their bulls***ing around eventually cost me the ability to walk and live pain-free. But that's another story. ;)
  11. I'm really lucky to have an understanding immediate family. I have my masters but don't use it. Having no kids and no intention to have any makes it kinda hard to explain why I am a SAHW when I dont want to share health reasons with people who ask. My DH is sympathetic that I often dont feel well, but he loves having me at home instead of working the brutal hours I used to keep up. Other than a haggard look and entirely too much time spent in my PJs to be socially acceptable, you cant usually judge my health from my outward appearance.
    Kinda funny that I am obsessed with purses since I rarely go anywhere to get to carry them. lol
  12. I've got borderline high blood pressure which I have been monitoring over the past month or so pretty closely. I have to go back to my dr in January with all my readings so she can decide if I need to get on b.p. meds. I exercise a LOT so it kind of scares me that if I wasn't so active it could be even higher.

    It's truly a silent killer (or can be) as there is no pain associated with it at ALL.
  13. One of the things that hurt me the worse was losing all my in the flesh friends. Right now I can't think of anyone other than family (and that consists of my DH, my brother, my mother in law and one sister in law) who I can call in case of an emergency. I didn't have a lot of flesh friends to begin with, but the ones I did have I was close with. I haven't seen my best friend in four years, and she's just 4 miles away. It hurts. ALOT. I was there for her during her hysterectomy, her divorce, well, hell, everything that happened in her life.

    I remember I gave DH an out when they told us I'd be constantly bedridden or wiped out on pain meds... he opted to stay, although for awhile it was a hell of an adjustment. For some reason, people expect you to bleed bright red or have a dangling limb before they think you hurt. It's no wonder why most people with chronic pain also see shrinks on a regular basis.
  14. Oh yeah......

    Had a herniated disc that needed surgery a few years ago (My left arm was becoming paralyzed,
    and the pain was horrible). The MRI showed the herniated disc, and 2 more
    protruding. The surgery fixed the herniated - they removed the disc, put in a bone chip
    as a spacer, and a titanium plate.

    Now the protruding ones - or one of them - is giving me problems. I drop things. My
    hands go numb. I hurt.......

    Diabetes, type 2 - it sucks. I just started taking Byetta for it. I'm hoping this works
    for me, as just oral medication didn't.

    High Blood Pressure.....it seems to be under control, but when I went to the doctor it
    was sky high - 182/150......

    Plus for the past few months I've been fighting a skin infection. I think the antibiotics
    are finally working, but I've felt really crappy for months.....

    Boyfriend is great. He's the one that suffers when I don't feel good......
  15. This thread is showing me that we are not alone in our feelings about all the health problems not visible to others. I would guess that as a group, tho our problems may be different, we have an appreciation for small blessings that others may not have.

    What drives me crazy is people who have virtually no health problems at all, and they moan and whine about everything. They have no idea how fortunate they are.

    Best wishes to all of us here for experiencing lots of those good days in 2008.