Top
HEY YOU!

THE SAD REALITY OF LIFE WITH A CHRONIC ILLNESS: Living, in Spite of it All

And here you are, living, in spite of it all.’

Waking up every morning, wishing you hadn’t. Or maybe just wishing it was all a dream. Wishing the circumstances, YOUR circumstances were different. In spite of the pain, you somehow muster the energy to shower. Only now you have none left and although your morning has just begun, it’s already time for a break. 

Push through. Push through. The voice in your head echoes louder and louder until it almost seems real. It’s stern. Almost militant. Serving as an everlasting reminder that there is no option to give up. – As if you needed one.

You leave your house with little to no confidence at all. You look fine to the naked eye, but internally? Your body is doing irreversible damage to itself and you feel every last bit.

It hurts to breathe, but you’ve become so good at contouring that you’ve nearly concealed every last flaw. Now your outward appearance is simply a facade masking your innermost secrets.- But you fit into society’s standards of ‘beauty’ – So isn’t that enough?

You’re human, but you don’t feel it. You’re fragile, but you can’t embrace it for fear you’ll break.

No one understands. – Or at least thats what you tell yourself in efforts to keep your burning secret inside.

Finally. Time to see the doctor. Someone who can help! – Or so you thought. You remove the pounds of makeup you used to contour and conceal your pain. You remove the face and the smile you had to forcibly pull out of yourself in order to survive the 8 hour day with your coworkers. Your doctor can’t see you like that. He’ll think what THEY think and you’ll never feel better. 

Instead, you present yourself exactly as you feel and he’s worried. Oh no, more tests. More labs and TWO new prescriptions.

You arrive at the pharmacy. Desperate. Praying they won’t judge you today, even though you know they will. ‘You’re young!’ – ‘You look so healthy!’ They chant as if it’s supposed to make you feel better.

Your prescriptions are ready! Thank God! – Only not really. One is ready. ‘That’ll be $100!’ You ask yourself what bill you can skip this month. ‘And the other?’ You ask in a hopeful voice. Hoping the pharmacist replies with the same tone, informing you the other medication has no copay at all.

And it doesn’t…

Because it wasn’t approved by your insurance. They’ll let your doctor know the next steps. In the mean time, hang tight.

You cry in your car because what kind of fool shows emotion/s in public? Or at all for that matter.

THAT was your only chance at relief. – Only, it wasn’t.

Living with an invisible illness is torture. No one knows the pain you feel, and judge you in comparison to their own expectations and assumptions.

And yet here you are…..

Living …

In spite of it all.

The Sad Reality of Life with a Chronic Illness

Let's have a conversation! Leave a comment!

What They're Saying

"Shawn. I see what you're doing in the IBD community. You're doing phenomenal things! Prayers for your personal journey as well as I know it can't be easy."

Felicia Robertson, MD June 23 2017
2017-09-08T14:16:02-04:00
"Shawn. I see what you're doing in the IBD community. You're doing phenomenal things! Prayers for your personal journey as well as I know it can't be easy." Felicia Robertson, MD June 23 2017

"You're the best! So glad you joined (the Patient Advisory Council of ImproveCareNow) and I hope we can get to know eachother better! Looking at your blog girl it's amazing. You're a beautiful writer and fighter."

 

Natalie B, PAC ImproveCareNow, April 29 2017
2017-09-08T14:21:19-04:00
"You're the best! So glad you joined (the Patient Advisory Council of ImproveCareNow) and I hope we can get to know eachother better! Looking at your blog girl it's amazing. You're a beautiful writer and fighter."   Natalie B, PAC ImproveCareNow, April 29 2017

"Chronically Strong is an absolutely beautiful blog filled with information about Ulcerative Colitis, Chronic Bowel Disease and Mental Health just to name a few. (Shawntel) has excellent healthy eating tips as well as a focus on overall wellness and nutrition, and recipes."

Leanne, Blogger, Aug. 2 2017
2017-09-08T14:26:29-04:00
"Chronically Strong is an absolutely beautiful blog filled with information about Ulcerative Colitis, Chronic Bowel Disease and Mental Health just to name a few. (Shawntel) has excellent healthy eating tips as well as a focus on overall wellness and nutrition, and recipes." Leanne, Blogger, Aug. 2 2017

" I've never found you to be anything but inspiring. Your honesty is refreshing and I like when people keep it real. Makes me feel it's ok to be human."

 

Sara R, Sep. 12 2017
2017-09-12T22:05:16-04:00
" I've never found you to be anything but inspiring. Your honesty is refreshing and I like when people keep it real. Makes me feel it's ok to be human."   Sara R, Sep. 12 2017

Though mostly about IBD, this blog covers a wide array of issues.  Shawn covers complex issues, like how her identity as an African American intersects with her IBD.  I am taken aback by the depth of each post! Whether you’re a blogger or an IBDer, her posts are sure to offer tons of inspiration.

 

Collin, Jan. 9, 2019
2019-01-09T22:11:58-04:00
Though mostly about IBD, this blog covers a wide array of issues.  Shawn covers complex issues, like how her identity as an African American intersects with her IBD.  I am taken aback by the depth of each post! Whether you’re a blogger or an IBDer, her posts are sure to offer tons of inspiration.   Collin, Jan. 9, 2019