But you don’t look sick

Is the most condescending comment we get. Having an invisible illness comes with several invalidating comments and questions.

Well why do you sleep so much?

Why do you always tell us you are going to the doctor?

Gosh you go to the doctor so much!

These comments invalidate our whole existence. And we are 100% aware that we don’t look sick or that we are always at the doctor.

I don’t look sick but the scars on my skin from the 7 surgeries I have had in the last 15 months tell a different story.

The fact that the day that I wrote this I was unable to get out of bed until 1230 pm and had to call out of work AGAIN.

It is not fun always looking like a flake. Looking like someone who is unreliable because we make plans one day and the day the plans come up we have to reschedule because that happens to be the day you flare.

Oh and do not get me started on when the weather changes.

February-May are the worst times for the chronically ill because the barometric pressure changes are unpredictable and extremely painful.

You aren’t speaking to an uneducated person about their illness. We have spent countless nights becoming experts on our symptoms and our conditions so that we can dumb it down when we have to call or email our bosses and say “I am sick today so I cannot come into work. I will be back in the office tomorrow”. Because simply saying “my chronic illness is flaring again because the weather is changing from 80 degrees to snowing and it hurts and I can barely open my eyes” is too hard to explain to someone who only understands the common cold.

“You don’t look sick”. But because I do not look sick. Because you cannot see that my body is actually attacking itself and because you cannot see that chronic fatigue is genuinely trying to wipe me off the face of the earth SIMPLY DOES NOT MEAN THAT I AM NOT SICK.

I am sick. But it is more than the common cold. I am sick which means if I get the common cold, COVID-19, or an infection my body’s inability to fight it off is severely low. Which means it will knock me on my ass or potentially kill me.

Because we do not look sick. Does not mean that we are not sick.

Please be gentle with your chronically ill friends because we are fighting a fight that no one can see. But we feel it every second of every day.


The Chronically Ill

2 thoughts on “But you don’t look sick

  1. Gotta put on a face as we fight so we can keep a job but that face also screws us us when you can’t work because you don’t look like you’ve been fighting anything the other days. If I didn’t put in a face you wouldn’t want me around or working, if I told you how I truly am doing when you half heartedly ask you would stop asking.

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