At one point, I refused to write about my chronic illnesses. I decided it was about time I was more open about them. I came to this decision for a few reasons. Firstly, it’s no longer easy to hide my symptoms. Secondly, I’m no longer ashamed of who I really am, and I’m at peace with cutting out of my life those who are bothered by that. And finally, I have personal, safety, and health reasons for staying at home and saying no to visitors at this time. Being chronically ill during a pandemic means making some hard choices and knowing that some people won’t be happy with you. I’m finally at the point where I know I can’t keep everybody happy, and I don’t want to, either. My health and my family’s health comes first.
Chronic Illness & Disability
Living with Chronic Illness and Disability
Living with Chronic Illness can be a challenge. Living with a disability can be a challenge. Some of the challenges we face come from our illness or disability, but a huge part of the barriers we encounter are created by the society in which we live.
When someone in a wheelchair can’t get onto a sidewalk because there isn’t a ramp, the wheelchair isn’t the problem. When someone with an ileostomy bag gets yelled at for using the accessible bathroom because they “don’t look disabled,” their bag isn’t the problem. When someone is forced to disclosed their disability to get service, their disability isn’t the problem.
I’m a person with several chronic illnesses, some of which have completely changed the way I live my life, forcing me to give up beloved activities, such as triathlons.
Once upon a time, I refused to write about my chronic illnesses. I didn’t want to be defined by them. This is still true. I don’t want to be known as the girl with all the health problems, “poor woman,” as a random man on the street actually said aloud one day. I’m not my illnesses. They are just part of what I deal with every day, but I am so much more than a person with chronic illnesses.
But the reality is that my conditions are a part of my life, and as I get older, hiding them is not really an option anymore. Neither do I want to hide them anymore.
I spent far too long hiding my symptoms so everyone around me could be comfortable. As I get older, I simply no longer have the energy nor the desire to do that. For this reason, I decided to include a section on the blog about chronic illness and disability. Here I’ll share some of my struggles and triumphs as someone living with various chronic illnesses, and I’ll also sometimes share things about disability rights, or my thoughts about accessibility.
Posts about Chronic Illness & Disability
Canadian Health Care Is Failing Chronically Ill Patients
Canadian Health Care: Not all it’s cracked up to be
I don’t frequently write about my health conditions.
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