A 10-Minute Snapshot of My Daily Life With Chronic Illness

First of all, thank you for admitting you don’t understand what is going on inside of me and wondering what it is. I feel admitting you are naive about the subject is much more complimentary than you making assumptions about the falsities of what my life has become now.

Chronic illnesses are more than just a feeling of being anxious or depressed. It is a full-body experience that nobody should ever have to experience. Every day I wake up and have to ask myself: Am I strong enough to go to school today?

My alarm goes off at 6:05 a.m. every day. At that time, I secretly cry in bed and contemplate what would happen if I decided to stay home or push myself through school. A series of questions enter my head, such as: What tests am I going to miss? or How much work will I have to make up?

I then proceed to the shower, which takes all the energy I have been saving through sleeping. In the shower I contemplate one last time if I am strong enough to go to school or I will have to play hooky and rest and recover from the previous day’s events. I stare down at my feet, which have turned into a weird blue/black shade, and make my final decision.

This is just a 10-minute snapshot of what my day is like every day. I am not asking for people to pity me or think I am just feeling sorry for myself. All I am asking for is understanding. Put yourself in my shoes, living each day by the minute and knowing that anything can flip on a dime. There is no guarantee that I will be able to do anything on a given day, and when I cannot, I am just asking for understanding and acceptance.

People can take so many simple and trivial things for granted, such as walking up the stairs or taking a shower, where for me those things can determine what the outcome of my day or week will be.

Next time someone tells you they have a chronic illness, don’t try to just make assumptions about what their life is like. Go to their house, sit down with a cup of coffee and let them vent to you about their life. I guarantee it will be different than you think.

The Mighty is asking the following: What’s the hardest thing you deal with as someone with a chronic illness, and how do you face this? What advice and words of support would you offer someone facing the same thing? 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 Submit a Story page for more about our submission guidelines.

*Sign-up for our Chronic Illness Newsletter*

Lead photo by Thinkstock Images

Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.

Related to Other

What I Want People Who Touch My Wheelchair Without Permission to Know

For over a year now, my condition has meant that I’ve started to use a wheelchair more frequently, and this has definitely taught me a lot about the people around me and strangers in the street. Sometimes it’s difficult to self-propel myself in my chair, and I’ll ask family members to help me. This is [...]

When Kids In My Son’s Class Were More Accepting of His ‘Differences’ Than the Parents

Recently there was a school event in my son’s general education classroom. I wasn’t planning to go, because I’d have to rush there from a doctor’s appointment. And, to be honest, it’s sometimes hard to go because the difference between my son and his peers is a reminder of Evan’s daily challenges. My plans changed [...]

To Those Who Think Young Unemployed People on Their Parents' Health Benefits Are 'Lazy'

A few weeks ago I received a call from a compassionate young woman who wanted to feature my story in a piece for The Guardian U.S. The feature would focus on young men and woman who, due to illness, were reliant on their parents’ health insurance until the age of 26. As a young individual diagnosed with [...]

The 2-Word Response I’d Like People With Chronic Illness to Give to ‘How Are You?’

It happens every time you meet someone and interact on any level in society. It does not matter if you are at a bank, doctor’s appointment, checking out at a grocery store or getting your hair done… invariably one question will be asked by friends and strangers alike, and only one answer that is acceptable per the Social Contract we all [...]