National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week

Nancy Harris Bonk Health Guide
  • Having chronic illness can make life difficult. When these illnesses are "invisible," it becomes almost intolerable at times. September 8 - 14, 2008 is National Invisible Chronic Illness Week. This years theme is ''Hope Can Grow from the Soil of Illness.'' 

    Karen Lee Richards, co-founder of the National Fibromyalgia Association and  ChronicPainConnection.Com Expert has written a SharePost on the week's activities you can find HERE


    The effects of invisible illness on patients and families is insidious. When someone has a broken arm, cut or even the cold or flu - you can actually see their affliction. This makes it easier for people to understand, sympathize and even empathize with them. We "cut people some slack" when we see a broken arm, or give a co-worker with the cold some kleenex. Some of us have had a broken bone or two before, and no one wants to get the flu each year.

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    But when the words "I have a Migraine" enter the atmosphere - something strange happens. People get attitudes. "Not again," or "here we go again" -- like our pain is affecting them personally. One of my favorites is "you always have a Migraine."

    Migraines, along with Multiple Sclerosis, Fibromyalgia and heart disease are among some invisible chronic illnesses. The problem is that most of the symptoms Migraine, Fibromyaliga, Multiple Sclerosis and Heart disease are invisible. No one can see the pain in your head or visual aura with a Migraine, Fibroymalgia and Multiple Sclerosis. We all know Heart disease is a silent killer as it clogs our arteries over the years. These things are hard for some to empathize with because they cannot actually see what is happening during an attack.  


    Invisible illness, like Migraine, can become a real problem for some in the work place.  One of the best things a Migraineur can do is help educate their employers and co-workers about Migraines and headaches. Migraine and Headache Education for Those Who "Don't Get It"  can be printed out and taken to the office. The more people who learn and understand that Migraine is a genetic, neurologic, and invisible chronic disease, the  easier it will be for Migraineurs and their co-workers to function. Tips for Handling Migraines At Work also has good information.


    Making life somewhat less stressful at home is not easy when chronic illness is involved. Incomes suffer if the Migraineur or chronically ill person becomes disabled. Self-worth and esteem become questioned, and depression can easily set in. We have some ideas you can find on our Quizzes, Games and Tips page you may find helpful. Let's hope National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week helps those who suffer make life a bit easier, and brings the necessary attention to those who still don't "get it."

Published On: September 11, 2008