1. The illness I live with is: Fibromyalgia, Chronic Pancreatitis, CFS, Endometriosis, IBS, Raynouds Syndrome, Arthritis, Adrenal Insufficiency, Blethoritis, GERD, etc. . .
2. I was diagnosed with it in the year: 1996
3. But I had symptoms since: Youth
4. The biggest adjustment I’ve had to make is: Not being able to work
5. Most people assume: I am healthy and happy
6. The hardest part about mornings are: The pain, stiffness and fatigue
7. My favorite medical TV show is: Hawthorne
8. A gadget I couldn’t live without is: My Computer
9. The hardest part about nights are: The pain and the loneliness
10. Each day I take 14 pills & vitamins. (No comments, please)
11. Regarding alternative treatments I: Don't have a lot of experience with them
12. If I had to choose between an invisible illness or visible I would choose: visible
13. Regarding working and career: I have none due to illness and this is extremely hard, not only financially, but on my self image as well.
14. People would be surprised to know: How much I hurt and how isolated I feel.
15. The hardest thing to accept about my new reality has been: That I can't be the person I wish I could be, or even have been in the past.
16. Something I never thought I could do with my illness that I did was: Take care of my mother
17. The commercials about my illness: Don't represent what it is really like to live with them
18. Something I really miss doing since I was diagnosed is: Being spontaneous, being able to do what I want, when I want without having to weigh the costs.
19. It was really hard to have to give up: My privacy and freedom
20. A new hobby I have taken up since my diagnosis is: Scrapbooking and writing
21. If I could have one day of feeling normal again I would: Do all the things I miss doing and treasure the memory of what it felt like to be healthy.
22. My illness has taught me: To be patient, compassionate and empathetic to others
23. Want to know a secret? One thing people say that gets under my skin is: "But you're too young to be so sick" or "But you look too good to be so ill"
24. But I love it when people: Really listen and make it clear that they love me for who I am now
25. My favorite motto, scripture, quote that gets me through tough times is: "Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle" -Philo of Alexandria
26. When someone is diagnosed I’d like to tell them: Have hope, stay positive and get as much support from others as you can.
27. Something that has surprised me about living with an illness is: How much it affects every aspect of my life.
28. The nicest thing someone did for me when I wasn’t feeling well was: Ask ME what I needed and then did it, or just did something wonderful without being asked.
29. I’m involved with Invisible Illness Week because: It is important to raise awareness and to advocate for all of us.
30. The fact that you read this list makes me feel: nervous, but hopeful that you will understand me a little better for having taken the time to listen to what I have to say.
Find out more about National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week and the 5-day free virtual conference with 20 speakers Sept 14-18, 2009 at www.invisibleillness.com