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Part 6 Everyone, Regardless of Age, Can Be Invisibly Disabled

6. Everyone, Regardless of Age, Can Be Invisibly Disabled

All of these things are extremely problematic because the chances are high that everyone living will have an invisible disability eventually. As with everything, the longer you live, the more chances you have to experience something.
However, just because age is correlated with illness doesn’t mean that age alone causes illness.
Certain illnesses are just a matter of time and chance, yet health is treated as a static reality and youth as invulnerability. If you only view illness as an age-related event, you can’t fully advocate or recognize the millions of children and young adults who are afflicted.
Even doctors who know I have chronic illnesses have still referred to me as healthy, as if my lack of years automatically cancels out the fact that some days I’m about as mobile as a corpse.
Just because some of us are “young” doesn’t automatically make us healthy.
It erases our experiences and makes us feel even more useless when compared to other people our age. We aren’t capable of the same things the rest of our age group is, and it hurts to be reminded of that.

These Problems Arise From the Illusion of Health

Health is assumed to be the default state, when in actuality, illness is much more likely and more common than realized.
As a chronically ill person, health is just a myth to me – some fairy tale. I don’t know how many others feel that way, but I bet it’s a lot.
Health, as commonly defined, is unattainable for those of us with painful chronic illnesses. Yet that doesn’t mean all is lost. Become a better access ally.
Lessen the impact these problems have by realizing that chronic illnesses affect the entire being: heart, mind, body, and soul. They change the ways we can move in the world, so have consideration for those who have no visible signs of illness. Our lives depend on it.
Don’t assume that we’re lying when we tell you we can’t do something. Instead, propose an alternative that helps us. Ask what you can do around the house or offer to give us a massage.
These are just some steps toward building communities of care.
Though we may be smiling and laughing, that doesn’t mean we’re not in pain. It doesn’t mean we’re healthy.
We are diverse as any other population, and we deserve information tailored to our needs and desires just as much as you do.

Keep us in mind, even though our struggles are invisible to you!
We hope you enjoyed reading over the six part series and know your never alone!


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