10 Awesome Instagram Accounts By and For People With Chronic Illness
Facebook can be great for keeping up with friends and family, but Instagram is the place many people with chronic illnesses turn to for support from fellow spoonies. Whether you’re looking for funny memes, reviews of treatments and products, or others who are going through similar health challenges, there’s likely an account for you, and the comment threads are likely filled with others looking for support just like you.
We rounded up 10 of our favorite Instagram accounts run by people with chronic illnesses, for people with chronic illnesses. Did we miss your favorite, or do you want to share your Instagram handle with the community? Comment below with the Instagram accounts you’d add to this list.
1. The Tube Fed Wife
Mighty contributor, motivational speaker and Seattle “cat mom” Chanel White, aka The Tube Fed Wife, shares the ups and downs of her life with scleroderma, for which she recently underwent a stem cell transplant. She takes followers inside the reality of her medications, symptoms, doctor’s appointments, and even her spoonie fashion.
2. Gutless and Glamorous
Gaylyn Henderson calls herself “gutless and glamorous” after getting an ileostomy due to Crohn’s disease. She proudly bares her stomach and ostomy bag on Instagram to promote body positivity and encourage others who live with health struggles.
3. The Hurt Blogger
Last dose of Xeljanz feels weird! I am in the process of changing over all of my treatment in a carefully orchestrated plan week by week. Having upped my steroids the past week, tomorrow I go off #rheum meds for a week, in preparation of starting Humira (again) the following week! Please keep your fingers crossed that things don’t get too bad during the shift! After that, I wait for genetic test results to decide the rest of my treatment. LOTS of things have been going on with me, and I’m not quite ready to talk about it all yet – but I’m getting there. One day at a time ???? #ShortTermDisability #NewMeds #CureArthritis
4. Suffering the Silence
Suffering the Silence is a nonprofit dedicated to raising awareness of chronic illness and disability through art, media and storytelling. On their Instagram, you’ll find out about events, businesses and advocates that bring together and empower the chronic illness community.
5. Fibromyalgia Inspirational
Looking for inspiration and a community that just “gets it?” Fibromyalgia Inspirational shares memes that encourage followers in their fight, and poses questions that allow followers to discuss how they deal with the symptoms.
6. Karolyn Gehrig
Karolyn Gehrig started the #hospitalglam hashtag in 2014 to empower herself and others during dehumanizing doctor’s appointments. She lives with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, and frequently posts magazine-worthy images of herself posing on hospital beds and in doctor’s offices.
7. US Pain Foundation
As a nonprofit working to advocate for those living with a variety of chronic pain conditions, the US Pain Foundation posts inspirational memes and has designed a “Positivity Photo Challenge” to encourage followers to share where they find happiness in their lives.
8. Young People Chronic Illnesses
Day 14 – This is @Tomhomer1 and this is Toms story! I’m Tom, 37 from London. I was diagnosed with CF at the age of two and considering some of the people with CF don’t make it past the age of eighteen, I feel extremely privileged to get to the age I am. CF can be a very time consuming illness with hospital stays, doctors appointments, physio and treatments taking up much of our lives.Fortunately, I’ve had breaks in the severity of my illness which has allowed me to do some much loved traveling, work, get married and since 98% of males with CF are infertile, manage to beat the odds and have a son via IVF.Unfortunately, CF is a progressive illness which means my health regularly declines, sometimes it’s permanent, sometimes not, but since I was particularly Ill last year my CF team decided it was time to be evaluated for a double lung transplant.It was a daunting thing to get my head around and accept that my health has got to that point, but I’ve so far luckily managed to stabilise and stay off the transplant list for a few years more *fingers crossed*. CF can be extremely brutal at how quickly it can take someone’s quality of life away, so I believe it’s important to make the most of life when you can. #CF #CFWarrior #cfawareness #cfawarenessmonth #cysticfibrosis #cysticfibrosisawareness #cysticfibrosisawarenessmont #spoonie #spooniestrong #spooniespotlight
Run by (you guessed it) young people with chronic illnesses, the account features photos and stories of teens and young adults facing various illnesses. The account also shares facts and memes about chronic illnesses that can be passed along to spread awareness.
9. Tae McKenzie
#goodmorning #ootd #smile #fashion #coat #boots #amazing #wheelchair #wheelchairbeauty #pretty #beautiful #beyou #disability #disabledandsexy #disabledmodel #model #modeling #dırectionsscout @fashionnova #disabledandbeautiful #slay [email protected] #kimobility #rollingforchange #rollingtomakeadifference #rollingqueen #pushingtomakeadifference #girlpower #truebeauty
10. Stickman Comms
I’ve felt a bit worse than usual for a few days, for no clear reason. Today I have a sore throat. This usually means I’m getting a cold. My body can’t handle them very well – my POTS (heart rate) issues can go totally haywire. Plus hormones are approaching too. Double whammy. So today I’m prepping for approaching storms of #fog, #pain and #fatigue. Perhaps they’ll hit today – perhaps in a few days. Perhaps they’ll leave me barely able to sit up. Perhaps they’ll only be mild this time. Fingers crossed! But it will pass. I will get through. And the best way to get through is to be prepared:⠀ So between resting and eating vitamin C I am preparing:⠀ meds⠀ tissues⠀ throat sweets⠀ heat packs⠀ blankets⠀ restock groceries⠀ easy-eat, no-prep food.⠀ audiobooks⠀ Book PA to send out all orders⠀ Set up business related posts for next few days.⠀ ⠀ I’m actually close to ready now.⠀ I’m not looking forward to the storm hitting, but knowing that I’ll get through it helps.⠀ ⠀ And so do fluffy socks.
Hannah Ensor uses stick figures to illustrate life with chronic illness, from the challenges of shopping at IKEA with a wheelchair to the frustration of dealing with brain fog. She also creates cards that explain the basics of health conditions like Ehlers-Danlos syndrome and celiac disease and can be passed out to those who need to be educated about your illness.
Tell us about your favorite (or your own) Instagram accounts in the comments below.