For Invisible Illness Awareness Week people fill out our “30 Things” Meme, “30 Things About My Invisible illness You May Not Know.” Some of our devotional writers have filled them out for us and we thought we would share them. You can fill out your own here. It can be something to reflect on.
Here, Sandra Platt shares. . .
1. The illness I live with is: Fibromyalgia, Sjogrens, RLS, kidney disease, heart condition, IBS, Lupus, and Autoimmune Peripheral Neuropathy, I am sure I am forgetting a few.
2. I was diagnosed with it in the year: The Fibromyalgia was diagnosed 26 years ago. The other illnesses followed after that.
3. But I had symptoms since: For as long as I can remember!
4. The biggest adjustment I have had to make is: I guess when I came to the realization, early on as a pastor’s wife, that I cannot please everyone, and do it all anymore.
5. Most people assume: When they read about me, or hear about me–as Larry’s wife (he is a fairly well known Pastor in our area) , they assume that because of my illnesses I am all sad and an invalid in bed.
6. The hardest part about mornings are: I know that the first bit of movement will be painful, my first step when I touch the floor will be awful.
7. My favorite medical TV show is: I don’t watch medical shows.
8. A gadget I couldn’t live without is: My Laptop! It is my communication to the world! I find fellowship, friendship, even when I am flat in bed.
9. The hardest part about nights are: more pain, the aching seems deeper.
10. Each day I take [too many! LOL!] pills and vitamins.
11. Regarding alternative treatments I: am open to them after I study about them.
12. If I had to choose between an invisible illness or visible I would choose: Pardon me, but why would I choose? I have had both, and I see no place where one wins over the other.
13. Regarding working and career: I went to college to become a teacher and was only able to teach 2 years. Then I became the manager of a Christian bookstore. Eventually that was too much. But I have loved 26 years of being a pastors wife, and I love my writing!
14. People would be surprised to know: that I am in pain constantly. Every minute. But that I am also full of joy!
15. The hardest thing to accept about my new reality has been: I have had to graduate to the wheelchair full time this year. Seeing myself losing ground is hard.
16. Something I never thought I could do with my illness that I did was: still be joyful, raise my family, see my kids graduate and begin building their lives. If I would have been told 26 years ago at the beginning of my illnesses and the beginning of our ministry; that I would have had the life I had with my family that I did, I would have been amazed!
17. The commercials about my illness: at least share some information, but it is not always presented truthfully.
18. Something I really miss doing since I was diagnosed is:take long walks, dance, jump rope, ride my bike.
19. It was really hard to have to give up: the day trips we would take to some of the State parks with beaches and hiking trails into the woods and hills. We used to swim, hike, picnic, all day. We still go to nature reserves, but we have to do things differently due to my wheelchair, staying out of the sun, watching for fatigue, etc.
20. A new hobby I have taken up since my diagnosis is: Container gardening, I cannot go out and dig in the dirt to plant flowers and vegetables, so in the summer I grow things in pots. Inside all year, I grow beautiful African Violets.
21. If I could have one day of feeling normal again I would: Enjoy a long walk with my husband.
22. My illness has taught me:So many things! A whole new deeper way of life! If I had to choose between having had a normal healthy life, or the illness I have now; I would choose this life because of all I have learned in my dependence upon my Lord. I would not have this walk with the Lord if I would have remained healthy.
23. Want to know a secret? One thing people say that gets under my skin is: I look like I “am doing better!” Or, I look ” like I am having a good day “. It takes planning a day or two before, extra pain meds, and a great makeup job, to get me to church. Usually by the end of the Service I am ready to lay down! Not feeling like I look good then! LOL
24. But I love it when people: notice the effort it took to be in fellowship with them. Offer to bring over a dinner so I can rest. Call and see if I need anything from the store when they are running errands, stop in for a short visit over coffee.
25. My favorite motto, scripture, quote that gets me through tough times is: Our family motto is this, “We are living in the realm of the miraculous with Christ as the Cornerstone.”
26. When someone is diagnosed I’d like to tell them: take it just a day, or hour at a time. Call me, and we will walk through it together.
27. Something that has surprised me about living with an illness is: if I keep my eyes on me; my pain, my loneliness, etc. I am miserable. But if I keep my eyes on Jesus. . . like the song says, the things of the earth will grow strangely dim. When I look to Jesus, I don’t see my pain, I see Him. And there is JOY!
28. The nicest thing someone did for me when I wasn’t feeling well was: Bring over lasagna, and a pan of brownies to bake in our oven so it would make our house smell good, instead of baking our dinner in her home.
29. I’m involved with Invisible Illness Week because: When I first got sick, some members of our church were ruthless in their belief that I was a self centered whiner! I don’t want anyone else to be treated that way.
30. The fact that you read this list makes me feel: Humbled, glad, thankful.