As I sat in my car this morning struggling to find the strength to fight the battles I need to fight today I thought of this young women. I thought about what my life was like at her age. At that age I was working almost full time and going to school full time. I was partying with friends, I was looking for romance, I was trying new things, and I was having the time of my life. I can not imagine what it would’ve been like to get sick. I become sick when I was 25 and was much wiser than the person I had been a few years earlier, and I still barely managed to cope in the beginning. It’s taken time and a lot of support from friends and family to pull me out of the hole I was in, a hole which is often easy for me to start slipping back into. I’m one of the lucky ones. I have never considered suicide myself but there have been times when the pain was so severe and my separation from other human beings so complete that I knew and understood why people with chronic diseases kill themselves.
I’ve talked about suicide before here and here. I don’t know that I have much more to add except that people with invisible illness are not going away. This problem is not going away and it’s time for people to start caring. It’s time for doctors to stop passing off the difficult patients whose cases are “too difficult” to deal with. It’s time for the healthcare system to be fixed so there can be thorough treatment for these individuals. I’ll say it again, something needs to be done; there needs to be a place in the healthcare system for us because we are not going away.