Migraines, Me, and Invisible Illness Awareness

Nancy Harris Bonk Health Guide
  • Invisible Illness WeekMigraine disease is a genetic neurological disease. It can often be a disabling and chronic condition, and in addition is an invisible illness. Monday, September, 13 2010, starts National Invisible Chronic Awareness Week. Migraine, along with, Sjogren's syndrome, fibromyalgia, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes (just to name a few) are chronic, invisible illness's. Just because we don't look sick, doesn't mean we're not.

    This year, I'd like to take a different view on National Invisible Chronic Awareness Week - a thankful, positive approach. Let's talk about the people who make it possible for us to live our lives with their help. They may be family, friends, caregivers, neighbors, teachers, mentors or just a friendly acquaintance. Whoever they are, they probably don't get enough thanks from us.

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    My family is the most important thing in my life; my children, parents and siblings have made the last few unbearable years, living with chronic Migraines and a divorce, somewhat tolerable. Their nonstop support, love and compassion have held me together. My children are the joy of my life - without their care, love and empathy, I'm not sure how I'd get through some days.


    My dear friends (Ann, Gisele, Jenn, Kathy, Linda, and Sue too - alpha order ladies!!) are the total support package. Letting me cry in your ear, telling me things I'd never thought I'd hear, but needed to, and just being there at a moment's notice are what makes these women the best. Whether by phone, text or in person, I know they are always there for me with kind, loving understanding that someone with chronic health issues needs.

    Teri Robert, my mentor and dear friend, has been with me through most of my chronic illness journey so far. Without her, I certainly wouldn't have one-quarter of the knowledge I do regarding Migraine disease, patient education and advocacy. Her unending supporting and patience is truly remarkable. Thank you for being such a huge part of my life.

    A very trusted professional continues to guide me through the sometimes long and often very painful process of accepting my life with chronic invisible illness. As my coping skills wax and wane, she is there to keep me on track. Handling my life without her would be simply hellish. My unending gratitude goes out to you.

    At InvisibleIllness.com they are doing something amazing this year. Lisa Copen, founder of National Chronic Invisible Awareness Week, is encouraging anyone who has an invisible illness or knows someone who does, to "pay it forward." She suggests we do this by leaving upbeat, positive messages on post-it notes in random public places. Something like - "I'm in chronic pain too, but together we'll get through it," and put the website at the bottom of the post-it.  Isn't that a fabulous idea? You can read more about this great idea on their website; National Chronic Invisible Illness Awareness Week.

    Living with chronic invisible illness makes life difficult. If leaving a little note to brighten someone's day will benefit another person, I'm all for it.  

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    Copen, Lisa. National Chronic Invisible Illness Awareness Week. InvisibleIllnessWeek.com September 10, 2010.


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    © The HealthCentral Network, 2010
    Last updated September 11, 2010
Published On: September 11, 2010