Living with chronic illnesses can be challenging and can change our lives in significant ways. Chronic disease is often invisible to those around us and can change the quality of our lives. It can alter the way we interact with our families, colleagues, and friends. It can change the way we move, breathe, and think. We can go from being highly functional, productive, and content to feeling like we don’t know what will happen from one day to the next. These illnesses are often invisible, though not always. When not obvious to those around us, we may feel obligated to repeatedly tell people about how we feel and why we cannot participate at a level that we wish we could. Our lives are compromised.
There are many stories of people living with chronic illnesses that you can read online. One such story is by Ilene S. Ruhoy M.D., Ph.D., who wrote about how chronic illness can change our lives in significant ways 1. Another story is by a person who has been living with chronic illness for almost two decades 2. These stories offer guidelines for maintaining and enhancing the quality of life at home, in the workplace, among family and friends, and with oneself.
If you have a loved one living with chronic illness learn all you can about the illness, and then you can have a better understanding of what we go through.