YOU DON'T LOOK SICK.
I have heard this so many times. What does "sick" look like? What does chronic illness, chronic pain, underlying conditions, what does that look like on the surface? It looks like me. It looks like you. It looks like any and all of us. People don't believe me. I've been told I'm making it up by my own family, while lying in a hospital bed with tubes in my chest. That I wanted this for attention. That I wanted to be sick so bad, that I somehow CAUSED myself to be this ill, all for attention. Attention that I don't get. Attention that is negative or maybe its the relationship issues it causes, self esteem issues, or maybe its the fact that I feel totally useless, maybe that was what I wanted. You don't look sick. Even when I lost all that weight and was 5'8" and 100lbs, it wasn't they thought I was sick. They all thought I was on drugs. Drugs. Yeah. I wish. They all talked and rumored and no one came to me. No one asked if I was okay. No one said they were worried. No. They called me a junkie and watched me suffer my illness alone. "Well we didn't know. You don't look sick." No you didn't ask. You assumed. Now my heart is failing. My aortic valve is malfunctioning and my aorta is dilated enough to be an aneurism that now requires consistent attention and testing. They said optimistically 5yrs before I need full on open heart surgery. Realistically between 6mo to 3yrs. I'm 33. I didn't ask for this. I just want to see my babies grow up and graduate and have kids of their own and be successful. I wanted to be an old woman baking cookies, getting high and kissing my old man husband someday and I'm not sure I'll ever get to. Its hard enough to reach out and tell anyone my story let alone to ask for support, love, patience, understanding. Its hurtful and damaging that when I do, I'm told I'm exaggerating. I'm told I'm fine. I'm treated like they don't have time to listen to me, I am a burden to be bared but I am the one who is always there for everyone. Who is there for the person who is always leaned on? I don't get to lean, I BEAR IT, OR I CRASH AND BURN. So when you catch me crashin remember to tell me I still don't look sick when I'm a wreck.