The 2 Most Basic Things That People With Invisible Disabilities Want You To Know
Start writing a post
Health and Wellness

The 2 Most Basic Things That People With Invisible Disabilities Want You To Know

Autoimmune diseases can be quite rare, so people are unsure how to react. Here are the two simplest facts we want you to know.

107
The 2 Most Basic Things That People With Invisible Disabilities Want You To Know
Pixabay

I had an autoimmune condition. Keyword: "had." I had acute (pediatric) Idiopathic Thrombocytopenia (ITP), and luckily, I was able to recover without any medication. Essentially, ITP is an autoimmune condition i in which the body's own immune system destroys platelet cells. Platelets are essential for blood clotting, so having lower platelet levels meant I bled really easily. Cases of acute (pediatric) ITP occur spontaneously and can usually recover within a few weeks to a few months — many times without the need for medication. Unfortunately, many people with chronic (adult) ITP and other autoimmune conditions have their conditions for life.

The experience of having ITP gave me a taste of what it's like for others with autoimmune diseases, and it has made a more compassionate person who is able to sympathize what they're experiencing. So, these are the two main things I learned from my bout of ITP.

First and foremost, don't doubt someone with an autoimmune condition.

If someone has come forward to you and tells you about his or her autoimmune condition, he or she obviously trusts you enough as a friend to let you know his or her intimate medical information. What would be inappropriate would be to start questioning about the "supposed" medical condition. It may not always be a visible condition, but that doesn't mean that it's not real. And just because someone doesn't talk about doesn't mean he or she is any better than someone who does openly talk about it. It's fine to ask questions about the disorder, but the person is going through a difficult time and needs your support and compassion, not your doubt.

And second, we are NOT all the same.

An autoimmune condition is an umbrella term for any disease that's caused by the body's own immune system. There are hundreds of autoimmune conditions that are so different, and even within the same disorder, there are so many variations.

Take me as an example. I had the symptoms of ITP, including petechiae, bleeding of the gums and nose and fatigue. Thankfully, I was fortunate enough that my platelet level wasn't low enough to require treatments like immunosuppressants or corticosteroids. In fact, my only direction from the doctor was to be careful because I bleed and bruise easily, and I only had to monitor the symptoms for anything that could be indicative of a more severe condition.

But someone who has the same condition as me might have a completely different experience. He or she may need to be hospitalized for internal bleeding, and maybe this person requires platelet transfusions. So just because someone says they have an autoimmune condition doesn't mean we can assume this person is the same as someone else with the same thing.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Featured

To The Boy Who Changed Me

Just another open letter from a crazy ex-girlfriend.

94
http://cdn1.theodysseyonline.com/files/2015/10/09/635800144722553570-908383045_993037_10201471592537019_550485816_n.jpg

You’re probably thinking, “oh sh*t, my ex is writing a hate letter and a tell-all about our roller coaster tycoon relationship with terrible fallout.” But if you’re thinking that, oh honey you’re wrong. This isn’t some sappy pity party nonsense and it’s not a trash-my-ex tell all; it’s a journey. And it’s my side of our story to tell…

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

Dear College Students, Are You Undecided?

The Girlfriend's Guide to College

2804
Dear College Students, Are You Undecided?
https://pixabay.com/photos/college-students-diploma-graduate-3990783/

Up until last week, I always had a major. I was an international business major, finance major, psych major on the pre-medicine track… and now (finally) I am exactly where I should have been when I started college: undecided. I think there is too much pressure as a high school student to have a designated path about what you want to study, be when you 'grow up' and essentially spend the rest of your life doing. As an 18-year-old, I really feel like I tried to pin myself down to a major so that I had a set path to follow and something to look towards. This is probably very conventional and I know tons of people at school who have their minds made up about what they want to study.

Keep Reading... Show less
Adulting

Life Is Messy

Finding who you are in your 20s

2862
Life Is Messy
https://www.pexels.com/photo/shallow-focus-photography-of-yellow-sunflower-field-under-sunny-sky-1169084/

I am 25 years old and just now learning who I am. When I separated from my husband I was terrified of what would follow. I did not know who I was outside of a relationship, nor did I know how to be on my own. It was scary, and I was so lost. I spent months discovering who I was, and what I wanted to be. I am still searching as I believe we never truly know who we are even when we "grow up". I came to the realization that I had been hiding a part of myself for my entire life. Coming out was not easy, growing up in the church made it scary, and hard. I was told growing up that being anything but straight was such a sin, and that i would spent my life in hell because of it. I came out to my parents when I was 25 years old. I picked up the phone and called my mom, and uttered the words "I'm queer" through tears. I knew my parents would be supportive, but that didn't make it any easier for me to vulnerable and raw. Since then, I have slowly started being more authentic in who I am, and not hide parts of me just because of people's shitty opinions.

Keep Reading... Show less
Adulting

Ask Your BFF These 20 Questions To See If They Know You As Well As You THINK That They Do

Ask your best friend these basic questions to see just how well they know you.

41397
Ask Your BFF These 20 Questions To See If They Know You As Well As You THINK That They Do

My best friend has been in my life since we were 3 years old, now that we are adults now, I'd like to ask her these questions to see how well she knows me.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

Alone At The Met

I survive a day alone in NYC.

11064
Wikimedia Commons

It was six in the evening. I was sitting in the courtyard of a Renaissance-era Italian villa, glancing around at the statues, most notably one of a boy removing a thorn from his foot. Despite the supposedly relaxing setting, I was incredibly anxious. My phone was at less than 5 percent battery, and once it died I would be completely disconnected from my family and peers, alone in one of the largest art museums in the country.

Keep Reading... Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments