Image via Wikipedia
Today marks the beginning of Invisible Illness Awareness Week. You probably are wondering what an invisible illness is. Well, let me try to explain it. Its an illness that affects someone, but is not immediately noticeable to the eye. For the most part, you can look at someone and tell that they have arthritis. Whereas, you can’t look at someone and know that they are diabetic.
I suffer from several invisible illnesses. The two main ones are Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and Hashimoto’s Encephalopathy. Both of these diseases are autoimmune diseases that were first discovered by Dr Hakaru Hashimoto (in the picture on the right) in 1912.
Unfortunately, the treatment of these diseases has not changed much in the past 100 years. These are probably the only autoimmune disease left in the world that are not treated. They do not even address the fact that the immune system has gone out of control and is attacking the body. The only thing they do is give thyroid replacement hormone and send you on your way while happily taking your money.
Thankfully, I found a doctor that doesn’t treat patients that way. It has been a rough 5 years, but we finally have my body on the right track. Dr. West-Ky Abrams has been doing tons of research into how to treat me. With the right dosing of Vitamin D and Synthroid, I have been within normal limits for several months. This is the longest period of time that I have been like this. And not only that, but I actually feel good.
Of course, I still have my bad days, but they are no where near as bad. I have been lucky to not have had a seizure in months. I have much more energy. I have started to exercise again. This doesn’t mean that my illness is gone. I know that it will never go away. It is something I will have to battle the rest of my life. But it is a battle that I will not give in to. I will arm myself with knowledge because that it the best weapon. I will fortify myself with hope because without hope, there is nothing. And I will surround myself with those who love and support me. Because it is that love and support that allow us to continue on in our battles.
If you were wondering what it is like to live in the battlegrounds of illness, then I suggest you read the spoon theory. It puts a new perspective on life. I used to be one of those people on the outside who couldn’t understand why people could limit their lives and just couldn’t do many things. Now I know first hand what its like.