Sunday, February 01, 2015

Living and Writing With Chronic Illness

I recently came across this post, "On Chronic Illness as a Beast " by Stephanie Gunn, where she talks about her own experience with chronic illness and links to posts by Terri Windling and Michelle Goldsmith on the same topic. I know many others in similar situations and, while I can understand why they may not want to talk about it - I have a chronic back injury and one thing I've learned is that very few people really want to know about it and the physical limitations it puts on me - maybe we should be more prepared to discuss such things.

The thing about invisible chronic illness is just that - it's invisible and so it doesn't register on others how much it affects us. A personal example: when I travel by air I get a wheelchair to move around the airport because it's very difficult for me to walk any distance if I'm also lugging bags. I can do it - slowly and with considerable difficulty - but there's a price in pain and mobility to be paid later. I feel embarrassed being wheeled around. After all, I can walk albeit slowly and it's not pleasant being dependent on others however kind they are but, if I don't use the wheelchair, I'm storing up a huge pain deficit to be dealt with later, one that I can't really afford especially if I'm travelling somewhere that I need to be able function well.

Have a read of these posts. I'd be interested to hear what you think.

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