I must here the question: “Are you okay?” at least 20 times a day, from co-workers, friends, family. As much as I try to smile, the pain seeps through and I can’t really hide how I feel.
It’s hard to explain to someone that you have an invisible illness that make every day an internal struggle. I’m almost always in pain.
The only person I’m okay with asking the question is my spouse. He has seen me at my worst of days and at my best of days. He is the only other person in my surroundings that knows exactly what I am going through and how real it is.
It’s when dealing with other family members that I don’t know how much to share as I don’t want them to worry, with coworkers and strangers, I don’t necessarily know how to explain it. Of course, I’m putting the majority of my energy in making it through the work day, I don’t want to loose my job and the doctors don’t see my pain as temporary so no sick leave for me while I’m going through treatment. I am forever pushing myself further than what my illness allows me to do.