Having a chronic illness presents many challenges for patients, not only in terms of managing the symptoms they suffer but also having to deal with people’s preconceived ideas about invisible illnesses.
MORE: Despite there being approximately 300,000 people in the U.S. who have scleroderma, it seems that many people are either completely unaware of the disease or are confused as to what the disease actually is.
Dr. Amy Stenehjem spent much of her career looking after patients with chronic illnesses, but as much as she understood the medical side of their illnesses, it wasn’t until she became housebound with a chronic illness that she understood just what daily life was like for her patients. She now writes a blog helping others better manage their chronic illnesses called Mastering Health and Happiness.
In an article on The Mighty, Dr. Stenehjem writes about some of the things she’d like people to know about those who suffer from chronic illnesses and just how deeply their lives are affected by their health issues. By raising awareness of chronic and invisible illnesses, she hopes that those who suffer will be able to enjoy better understanding from friends, family, and co-workers.
Some of the things she wants to share about people with chronic illnesses include the fact that being unable to work should not be viewed as a vacation, people with chronic illnesses suffer a complex range of symptoms including emotional symptoms, fatigue is not the same as feeling tired, and controversially, that many doctors don’t fully understand chronic illnesses.
You can read Dr. Stenehjem’s full article on themighty.com.
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