Them: You are too young to be in this doctor’s office. You are too pretty to be using that assistive device. You don’t look old. What are you doing using that particular service?
Me: Young people are afflicted with conditions too. People are born with conditions & encounter life-changing experiences that affect their health.
Believe it or not, you would not be able to tell I experience an autoimmune condition by looking at me.
But when you see me use an assistive device, you begin to wonder.
I do not mind answering questions but I do not appreciate assumptions being made. I have plenty of time to enlighten you. Respect my perspective and do not talk to me as if I am not capable.
And lastly, save your pity. I take pride in being the woman I am today. I have endured and continued through the darkness of times.
I did not get in a line and sign up for chronic illness. It chose me. It chooses who it wants – when it wants. It does not discriminate.
If you are fortunate enough to have a healthy mind and body, take charge of your health with preventive measures. Also, make sure to cherish each moment.
I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease at the age of 16. I held onto so much anger and struggled when it came to loving myself and accepting myself. I hated who I was and what I was becoming.
But I dug deep and took a journey through self discovery and self love. It is a process I decided to start a while ago. I am glad I made that choice and I am no longer ashamed of the person I am because of my experience with lupus.
There is no one face.
There is no one age.
There is no one look to wellness or illness.
Open your mind to experiences that do not directly affect you.
Evolve your thinking and presence in this world.
NERA. (2019). Lupus: An Invisible Illness. Retrieved from http://neresearch.org/2019/04/08/lupus-an-invisible-illness/