Oh how many times I have heard this, “but you don’t look anxious.” or “What’s wrong with you?” obviously since I have a service dog something is “wrong” with me. I try not to complain about my symptoms with family around, the tension, the tingling, the tightness in my chest, the fluctuating heart rate, and other symptoms that can make me feel really bad. As I lay down from my heart acting up I worry about bystanders thinking that I am “dying” or in need of medical assistance. If I didn’t need a service dog I wouldn’t have one, it’s no joke, it takes a lot of time, money, and training to have a service dog.
Many others struggle with this and chronic invisible illnesses. “But your walking, and talking, and doing stuff!” well, we are, but at what cost? How many spoons do we use up just going to small social event? A lot. For some it can take days to recover after doing something as simple as a shopping trip.
We also hide our symptoms, because we do not want to “burden” others with talking about our struggles. or because we don’t want negative comments “If you would just do x and y you wouldn’t have this problem!” or “You’re too young to have that issue!”. If we aren’t in a wheelchair, or on oxygen, or using a cane then we must not be sick. Some have to go through so many doctors and medications to try to find answers, some are successful, others may not find success.
As of right now I will be going to a primary care physcian to have this heart issue checked out, it fluctuates between 90’s and 100’s even when I’m just sitting down. It’s exhausting really as it takes up a lot of my spoons.
So please, next time you see someone with a service dog, or someone tells you they have a chronic invisible illness, believe them. You may not be abe to see it, but they feel it. In a world where you can be anything be kind, because the world can always use more kindness.