Common Hidden and Invisible Illnesses Explained – Please share to raise awareness

If you saw a person in a wheelchair or on crutches struggling to move, would you accuse them of milking it for attention? Not unless you were a truly malign, cold-hearted individual. If you saw a seemingly healthy person climbing out of a car that’s just been parked in a disabled parking spot, would you accost them and insist that they park elsewhere? Quite possibly, but before you do, it’s worth taking the time to consider whether that person actually does need the spot, even though they seem healthy.

There’s a little insight into the world of the hidden illness sufferer. Aside from the crippling physical pain they courageously endure on a daily basis, there’s also the frustration and torment of unsympathetic observers who take their exterior appearance at face value and believe that there’s nothing wrong. It doesn’t have to be a physical illness, either. Depression is also classified as a hidden illness, as it is a medical condition which might be highly concealed but has an enormously damaging impact on a person’s day-to-day life.

For people living with hidden illnesses, a basic degree of understanding and empathy from others is greatly appreciated. If you hear someone saying profusely that they’re feeling unwell, don’t just brush their words aside as the attention-seeking whines of a serial complainer. Ask them if there is anything you can do to make them feel a bit better. A person without a chronic illness just does not know the extent of the suffering of those with such illnesses.

This infographic from Burning Nights neatly summarises 10 of the most common hidden illnesses so that we can all obtain a small level of understanding. This include multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, depression, Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, Lyme disease, Lupus and CRPS. Maybe the next time we see a seemingly healthy person occupying a handicapped parking space, we won’t be so hasty in our judgement.

Common Hidden Illnesses Explained [Infographic]

So what is Spoon Theory? Find out here!

Fibromyalgia Infographic - What Is the Spoon Theory?
What Is the Spoon Theory? Infographic: If you live with chronic illness, explaining your condition can be tough. The spoon theory was created to do just that, and has since become so much more. – Source: New Life Outlook | Fibromyalgia

Sleep apnea – what are the warning signs of sleep apnea?

As regular readers know we are big fans of using infographics to promote medical education.

Today we would love to share with you a new infographic on the sign and symptoms of sleep apnea. And yes it is scary.

You can check out the original here at the Sleep Education web site.

Sleep Apnea
Sleep Apnea

Parenting with a Chronic Illness – Some tips for being a great parent even with a long term illness

Being a parent and being ill
Being a parent and being ill

A couple of days ago we are our readers on Facebook what advice they had to share about being a parent which a chronic medical condition such as multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes.

Given challenged such as pain, fatigue and insomnia which are attached to all these conditions it makes the roll of being a parent much harder.
We results of the request for tips was overwhelming – so when have chosen a cross selection of the responses. Please feel free to share your tips in the comments section below!

For Shanice it was just two simple words “Plan ahead”.

Heidi concurred “plan ahead, EXPLAIN yourself when you can’t do things. Let them help you, they will learn how to me compassionate caring adults because of you. If they help with chores, (mine do most of the chores) it helps you and teaches then life skills…how to be a team player, how to be observant, how to be patient, how to do simple household necessities….”

“I’m honest with mine. But not overly. My two oldest learned about my illnesses to have better understanding. Get up and move every day. Find ways to spend time with them that lets you rest. We read, watch movies, play board games in my bed. We have picnics in the living room. Love on them, let them feel special.” This was Rebecca’s view.

But “Don’t feel you need to compensate and buy them lots of “stuff” its love that counts. My kids think it’s great when we all bundle into my bed and watch a film, even if I often fall asleep.” Shared Becca.

Carrie told us “I’m honest with them when it’s a bad day. They are finally old enough to understand when I say maybe our we’ll see about something they want to do in a few days that it depends on my health. Also I had to learn to pick my battles what’s a priority to push them for or about…”
“Do intimate things like read books, finger-paint, buy a bunch of colored paper and make things…don’t push yourself. They will love you no matter what you can or cannot do. Children just need our attention, reassurance and love. Activities are a bonus. Take care of you….teaching them to take care of themselves on a cloudy day!!” was Michelle’s excellent advice!

Claudia shares “I told my children about my fibro but they already knew about illnesses during my cancer. They would spend time in my room a lot. We’d watch movies cartoons whatnot on TV. We’d play games on the floor like board games. Kept active. Made sure they were active in activities outside the house. I’d attend all their games.”

“Eat right and stay moving. Once you stop you’re done. I think that’s the only way I can actually sleep is by staying active. And having 3 boys help with keeping you going” was Elizabeth’s very practical advice.

Judy was very down to earth “1) Always make sure you have colouring and activity books to keep them busy just in case you need a few hours of rest in peace and quiet. 2) Teach your children about your illness so they’ll know what to expect and won’t be scared. 3) make sure to keep quick and easy to assemble lunch and dinners handy JUST IN CASE you cannot stand to cook a lot.”

Jayme had a different perspective – that of having been the child of somebody with multiple sclerosis “Also checks the psychology of the children. I was told my mother has MS at 8 years old. As an 8 year old, we are the mind-set of “Step on a crack, break Mommy’s back”. So, I assumed, that it was my fault she had MS, since she told me, she had her first attack, when she was pregnant with me. Talk openly about it and how it affects you. I spoke to Mom at length about her life decisions due to MS; my brother didn’t and came away with a totally different concept of her.”
So what about you? Do you have any tips for parenting? Or do you have any questions?

Either way why not share them in the comments box below.

Thanks very much in advance.

June is Migraine Awareness Month -What are the facts and how do we raise awareness of migraines?

June is Migraine Awareness Month
June is Migraine Awareness Month

June is Migraine Awareness Month – please like and share this Facebook cover on social media! But what are the facts about migraines? Migraine Action , a UK based charity, told us ?

1. One in seven people in the UK suffer from migraine.

2. Two thirds of people who have migraines are women.

3. It affects people of any age including younger children.

4. Migraine costs the UK more than £2 billion per annum.

5. The WHO consider it to be a major cause of disability.

6. An attack can last for between 4 and 72 hours. However other migraine symptoms can last for longer as they can occur before or after the main attack phase.

7. Sufferers experience an around of 13 attacks each year.

8. Other symptoms of a migraine can include:

visual disturbances (flashing lights, blind spots in the vision, zig zag patterns etc).
nausea and / or vomiting.
sensitivity to light, noise and smells
tingling / pins and needles / weakness / numbness in the limbs.

9. At least 60% of sufferers never consult their GP because they mistakenly think that nothing can be done to help them. There are a wide range of effective treatments now available including new products introduced during the past year.

10. Migraine is triggered by a wide variety of factors! For most people there is not just one trigger but a combination of factors which individually can be tolerated but when they all occur together a threshold is passed.