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If Your Chronic Illness Could Text You, It Might Look Like This

The most helpful emails in health
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A chronic illness can be a constant and annoying presence — like an unwanted friend who just. won’t. stop. texting. you.

We asked our readers to tell us some of the imaginary text conversations they would have with their chronic illnesses.

Here’s what they came up with:

1. From rheumatoid arthritis, Sjogren’s syndrome and fibromyalgia

"Rheumatoid arthritis(RA)/Sjogren's syndrome/Fibromyalgia: So Christine, let's spin the wheel of symptoms and see what's on the docket for today! Me: Can I just have a moderate amount of joint and muscle pain today? I have more than one thing I need to do. RA/Sjogren's/Fibro: Hmm let us ponder that a moment... nah. We think today you should have a migraine and severe back pain in addition to the normal amount of joint and muscle pain and fatigue. Me: Go fu -- RA/Sjogren's/Fibro: -- oh and we forgot stiffness and an inability to regulate your body temperature. Can't forget those of course. Me: Oh right. Of course."
Christine Hasenauer

2. From rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA): So what are we up to today? I was thinking pain and joint stiffness. Me: We do that every day! Let's just go for a run or something. RA: Bahahaha! Oh wait, you were serious? Me: Can we at least do stairs today? I'd settle for managing stairs. RA: We'll see."
Alana Schuurs

3. From intracranial hypertension

 "Intracranial Hypertension: You don't really need to see today right? Ok, cool. Just checking because I thought it was a good day to raise your intracranial pressure and your optic nerves might swell... Oh, they already did? What, you have a presentation and you can't read your already large print notes? Aw, sorry... not sorry?"
Kit Gigliotti

4.  From gastroparesis

"Gastroparesis: So you thought you could pull a fast one and enjoy a nice meal out, huh? Well, you thought wrong. Me: LOL you know I'm stronger than you so I'm done caring."
Melanie Atzili

5. From vestibular neuritis

"Vestibular neuritis (VN): Hey girl, we're having a viral party in your inner ear today! 95 percent of the population only has to deal with us one time, but, lucky you, we have decided to stay! The more we party the dizzy, dizzy, dizzier you get to be. Oh, and since we love your right ear we are going to party the hardest there, but that means you aren't going to be able to hear out of it that well. Me: Party away and have fun, just do me a favor and leave my left ear alone. It's always been my favorite ear anyway. Smile emoticon."
Amber Weller

6. From rheumatoid arthritis

"RA: Did you see the look that lady gave you when you told her you could only volunteer part-time when she asked you to come on full time!?! She knows since you are a stay at home mom you're really just sitting on the couch watching Netflix all day. It's not like you ever accomplish anything for your husband, five kids, two dogs, elderly cat, and two hamsters anyway! Me: If I don't at least get caught up on the laundry and go grocery shopping everyone will have to wear dirty clothes and eat cereal for every meal."
Jennifer Joy Stockton Snethen

7. A group chat with multiple sclerosis and bipolar disorder

MS/Bipolar disorder: Today you won't be able to concentrate. Have fun figuring out which one of us is causing it! Me: I'll figure this out, I can work through it. MS: Also your bladder won't be working right, better stay close to the bathroom. Me: OK MS: NVM I just may give you a few surprises today. I won't warn you because that's life. Bipolar: Sucker. Me: @#!* At least chocolate exists."
Jordann Chitty

8. From cluster headaches 

"Cluster Headaches: WAKE UP!!!! Hope you enjoy this searing hot ice pick rammed up your nose and out your eye socket! Me: Thanks, I'll go get my injections. (Middle finger emoji)"
Kathleen Elmore

9. From Crohn’s disease and ankylosing spondylitis

Text from Crohn's/ankylosing spondylitis that reads "Just a heads up, you won't be going out to lunch tomorrow. I've made a reservation in the bathroom - toilet for one. For starters, you'll have Imodium and Aleve. We'll follow that with ofran and Pepto for dessert. Hey, don't forget tomorrow is injection day!" Reply text is crying emoji.

10. From complex regional pain syndrome

"Complex regional pain syndrome: Pain, pain, pain, pain, pain, pain, pain, pain Me: Is that the only word you know?!? CRPS: Burning, electric shocks, discoloration, swelling... Me: Ok fine, let's just stick with pain then."
Alana Schuurs

11. From degenerative disc disease

"My degenerative disc disease: No you cannot do that Me: Watch me try! you don't own me! I am my own person! *insert other dependent woman phrases here."
Elly Hartley

12. From cervical dystonia

"Cervical dystonia (CD): So, what are you up for today? I was thinking intense neck and shoulder pain, a little head tilting followed by a migraine, mix in a little dizziness and just enough mental confusion so you sound like an idiot to all of your coworkers. Or, maybe you will have no symptoms at all today! Me: Bring it, because I am already up and getting dressed and heading into work and as long as I am able to do that, I will always win!"
Amber Weller

13. From multiple sclerosis

"Multiple Sclerosis: Hey! How about you try and say both of these words at the same time! That won't make you embarrassed at all. MS: "... hey. Sorry about making you embarrassed. My bad. But since you're embarrassed, you're flushed, your body feels like it's on fire! Lol oops."
Samantha Stambaugh

14. From chronic illness 

"Chronic Illness: Sorry but I did warn you i would flare up if you did these things Me: I know but i want to have a life... "
Lesley Findlay

15. From fibromyalgia

"Fibro: Ha, ha, ha. I've got you in my clutches! Me: Don't worry, I'll be back."
Tracy Boyarsky Smith
Originally published: January 19, 2016
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