To My Friends Who Never See Me as ‘the Sick One’


Thank you for everything you do for me. Without your great support, I really would be crumbling. Even when you’re at college, you don’t forget I’m home and are texting me about everything that is going on with you and asking what is new with me.

Thank you for never making me feel uncomfortable about my illnesses. It’s already hard enough dealing with so many medical issues, but you make it a little easier when I am with you or talking to you guys. I always feel like I can be myself and never have to hide the fact that I might not be feeling well. I lie down or sit when I need to, and you don’t say anything. You just understand I need to rest. You never treat me differently and make me feel like I’m just a normal teenager in our group.

Thank you for the constant invites. Even though I have to turn down a lot of activities that you guys do, you still never stop asking me to go out. I always feel so bad and guilty that I have to cancel last minute or plans have to be changed because of me. Then you make it seem like it’s no big deal and make me feel so much better about it.

Thank you for never staring or making a big deal out of my disabilities. You never stare when I have a “lovely” feeding tube coming out of my nose or when I have a backpack glued to me when I had to run my TPN or enteral feeds. You ask me questions when you aren’t sure about something, and I appreciate that so much. I like to explain something medically if you don’t know about it because it shows me how much you care.

Thank you for being such strong people. You always say how strong I am, but you forget how strong you all truly are. It must be so tough for you to have to see your friend go through so much. I have other close friends who have multiple health conditions, so I know how much you want to help, and there is nothing you can do sometimes.

I want you all to know that even though it doesn’t seem like it, you are helping me in so many ways. Just supporting and being there for me is enough. It’s the simplest things that go a long way. A text. A call. A hug. A joke. It all makes a difference and helps me get through all my battles.

Thank you for being my people, especially these last rough few years. You never have made me feel alone in these obstacles, and I am the most grateful for that. I love you all.

Taylor Kulp.1-001

The Mighty is asking the following: Write a letter to anyone you wish had a better understanding of your experience with disability and/or disease. If you’d like to participate, please send a blog post to [email protected] Please include a photo for the piece, a photo of yourself and 1-2 sentence bio. Check out our Share Your Story page for more about our submission guidelines.

JOIN THE CONVERSATION

Related to Dysautonomia

10 Things I Bring to Make My Long Hospital Stays a Little Bit Better

After being in the hospital plenty of times, I’ve gotten better on what to bring with me — especially for the longer stays.  1. Laptop Netflix, Netflix and did I mention Netflix? For me it’s a must-have. What better time to binge watch? 2. Little personal touches from home I always like to bring pictures and things from home like [...]

9 Things to Say to a Loved One With a Chronic Illness

I’ve read many lists describing “what not to say to someone with chronic illness,” so I wanted to offer a new spin. These lists are valuable for the chronically ill and the healthy, but the lines of communication between us can be fraught with misunderstanding. It’s important to recognize there is a lot we can [...]

I Have a Chronic Illness. Here's One Thing I Wish People Would Do for Me.

A Facebook page I follow recently asked those living with invisible disability: “What’s the one thing you wish people would say to you?” It took me a long time to think of an answer. Admittedly, I have tipped over to the visible disability camp the last few years, but I still get the “but you [...]

When Doctors Told Me My Chronic Illness Was ‘All in My Head’

“High school is a difficult time in a person’s life,” the immunologist said. She then went on to suggest my joint pain, dizziness, nausea, fatigue and myriad of other symptoms were due to stress. She said I needed to take a break from all the medical tests. When I told her I’d had fevers in [...]