1. The illnesses I live with are: Chronic migraines, depression, diabetes and occipital neuralgia.
2. I was diagnosed in the year: Migraines (1983); depression (1997); diabetes (2008); occipital neuralgia (2009).
3. But I had symptoms since: I can remember.
4. The biggest adjustment I’ve had to make is: Not being able to work. I certainly never dreamed all the hard work I put in getting my law degree and passing the bar would lead me to this place in life.
5. Most people assume: I don't need as much help as I really do.
6. The hardest part about mornings are: Waking up in pain every single day.
7. My favorite medical TV show is: Grey's Anatomy. But for the drama and sex, not the medicine. ;)
8. A gadget I couldn’t live without is: My Macbook.
9. The hardest part about nights are: Loneliness.
10. Each day I take (at least) 19 pills & vitamins. (No comments, please) And four injections.
11. Regarding alternative treatments I: Have tried most of them and believe in some of them, especially for coping with the pain and other symptoms I deal with day to day.
12. If I had to choose between an invisible illness or visible I would choose: This is hard. I guess I'll say invisible because it's all I know and because I like that I have more control over who knows about my health issues since no one can really see them.
13. Regarding working and career: I hope I'll be able to return to mine someday, but I'm not counting on it.
14. People would be surprised to know: That I'm pretty darned happy considering everything.
15. The hardest thing to accept about my new reality has been: Trying to redefine/discover my identity.
16. Something I never thought I could do with my illness that I did was: Help people who are filing for disability.
17. The commercials about my illness: Vastly oversimplify the debilitating nature of migraines and make them seem much easier to treat than they are for some of us.
18. Something I really miss doing since I was diagnosed is: Practicing law.
19. It was really hard to have to give up: Working and earning money.
20. A new hobby I have taken up since my diagnosis is: Knitting.
21. If I could have one day of feeling normal again I would: Go to an amusement park.
22. My illness has taught me: That control is an illusion.
23. Want to know a secret? One thing people say that gets under my skin is: X thing worked for my cousin/best friend/sister-in-law/wife. You should try that.
24. But I love it when people: Spend time with me and check in to see how I'm doing.
25. My favorite motto, scripture, quote that gets me through tough times is: It isn't the things that happen to us in our lives that cause us to suffer, it's how we relate to the things that happen to us that causes us to suffer. - Pema Chödrön
26. When someone is diagnosed I’d like to tell them: To get Teri Robert's book, find a good headache specialist and become educated about migraine disease.
27. Something that has surprised me about living with an illness is: That I can be happy even though I'm in a lot of pain.
28. The nicest thing someone did for me when I wasn’t feeling well was: Helping me clean my house.
29. I’m involved with Invisible Illness Week because: I feel it's an extremely important event and a wonderful opportunity to gather information about issues people with invisible illnesses have to consider that other people do not.
30. The fact that you read this list makes me feel: Grateful.
Find out more about National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week and the 5-day free virtual conference with 20 speakers Sept 14-18, 2009 at www.invisibleillness.com
Photo courtesy of ABC.com.
Interview with Invisible Illness Week Founder Lisa Copen
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Content by Diana E. Lee.
DISCLAIMER: Nothing on this site constitutes medical or legal advice. I am a patient who is engaged and educated and enjoys sharing my experiences and news about migraines, pain and depression. Please consult your own health care providers for advice on your unique situation.