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4 Mighty Members Share the Best Conversations They've Had About Their Health

“Share the best conversation you’ve had about your health.”

I’ll be honest, I couldn’t think of many good conversations about my health at first. Those of us who live with a chronic condition or disability are often subjected to ignorant and rude comments. Doctors can be dismissive, and government agencies that are supposed to help us often make us jump through hoops to prove that we really are sick/disabled. Even well-intentioned people may offer unsolicited health advice like “Have you tried yoga?” that frequently isn’t helpful. Amidst all this negativity, it can be difficult to remember the positive experiences — but that’s why it’s especially important for us to hold onto the good conversations and the people who support us no matter what.

I have both a physical disability and invisible conditions, but lately, I’ve been speaking up more about my invisible disabilities and neurodivergence. This has led to some amazing conversations with people who have similar experiences, but like me, they haven’t discussed them much publicly. Often when we talk about health, we fear being judged, but this experience has reminded me that when we share our truth, we can and often do receive tremendous support.

Here’s what our contributors told us about their own experiences:

1. Ameera Ladak, on ADHD

Ameera wearing a shirt that says "Life is worth living."

“The best conversation I’ve had about my ADHD was with a friend who is also neurodivergent. Though our conditions are different, I appreciated how attentively she listened and how much of an interest she took in learning about me. We shared our challenges, shared our differences from neurotypical people, and asked questions back and forth. Over time, we’ve continued these deep and sacred chats, often texting each other after therapy, reflecting on our experiences, and having rich conversations. It’s the best because I not only feel seen, but I feel like she wants to see me and makes active efforts to do so.”

If you’re experiencing something similar, read this:

2. Megan Glosson, on Chronic Migraine

 

Megan with her partner.

“I woke up to that familiar, unwelcome guest — migraine. As I tried to get out of bed to grab supplies, my partner rolled over and gently stroked my hair.

‘Migraine?’ she said. I nodded.

Without another word, she climbed out of bed and quickly returned with my ice pack, a bottle of water, and some pills.

‘I’m sorry I’m so broken,’ I mumbled as I drank a sip of water.

‘I’m broken, too. I love you,’ she replied.

There wasn’t any complaining or judgment, just unconditional love and understanding. I’m constantly thankful I found a partner who also lives with health conditions.”

If you’re experiencing something similar, read this:

3. Ashley Nestler, on Schizoaffective Disorder

 

Ashley with a friend.

“The best conversation I have had about my health took place in a therapy session.  I had come to the conclusion that I would need to apply for disability due to my multiple mental illnesses and inability to work. My therapist responded by saying, ‘This does not define you. This is just a part of your life and something that you need to do for yourself now. It does not mean that this is forever, but you need to use the resources available to you to help you now.’ Never had I felt more seen or understood than my therapist validating me and my struggles in that single moment.”

If you’re experiencing something similar, read this:

4. Monika Sudakov, on Endometriosis

 

Monika with her husband, who is holding a mug that says "I love you more than you love Celine Dion."

“One doesn’t generally expect a conversation with an employer to be the magic key that unlocks their mysterious illness, but that’s what happened to me. I had called in sick every month because of my excruciating periods. When my boss confronted me about it, I told him about my symptoms. Instead of disciplining me, he shared that his wife had the same issues and a laparoscopic procedure led to a diagnosis of endometriosis. His willingness to listen to me and provide me with a referral was the reason I finally got the treatment I needed. I’ll forever be grateful to him.”

If you’re experiencing something similar, read this:

 

What is the best conversation you’ve ever had regarding your health? We want to hear about it. Let us know in the comments below, and share your own by submitting a story or posting a Thought.

Getty image by Urbazon.

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