30 Things

From Invisible Illness Week

30 Things About My Invisible Illness You May Not Know:

1. The illness I live with is:

Invisible if I want it to be, but I wear bling and use a service dog so that it is not.
2. I was diagnosed with it in the year:

3. But I had symptoms since:
I was 6 years old after a car accident.

4. The biggest adjustment I’ve had to make is:
Learning to hear with a cochlear implant and learning how to adjust on days my Meniere’s disease symptoms have me wobbling around with poor balance.

5. Most people assume:
My cochlear implant has “fixed me”.

6. The hardest part about mornings are:
Not being able to hit “snooze” on my alarm clock since that happens to be my service dog, Chloe. When the alarm goes off, she kisses me awake and there is no going back to sleep. The dog is definitely a “morning dog”.

7. My favorite medical TV show is:
Not really a medical show but I do like Dr. Phil. He’s a “reality therapist” and I think everyone who has an invisible illness needs to have a healthy dose of reality!

8. A gadget I couldn’t live without is:
FM Clipboard for classes.

9. The hardest part about nights are:
Trying to ignore the tinnitus that comes roaring into play after removing my cochlear implant.

10. Each day I take __ pills & vitamins. (No comments, please)
1 prescription (blood pressure) and 9 different vitamins – one of which is Manganese. Studies have shown that people with Meniere’s disease may have a Manganese deficiency.

11. Regarding alternative treatments I:
Have tried numerous ones including acupuncture, chiropractor, and vitamins.

12. If I had to choose between an invisible illness or visible I would choose:
Visible – no question. This is why I try to make my invisible illness – VISIBLE.

13. Regarding working and career:
I am proud that I am able to work having made a number of adjustments and having chosen to be partnered with an assistance dog.

14. People would be surprised to know:
That I dread group activities because I don’t hear as well as they think I do.

15. The hardest thing to accept about my new reality has been:
That I must sometimes choose not to do things I once enjoyed because of my symptoms. For example: If there is a movie I wanted to see that is coming out, but the weather is bad and my Meniere’s disease has flared up, I cannot go and have to put it off.

16. Something I never thought I could do with my illness that I did was:
Go back to school and finish my MS.

17. The commercials about my illness:
There are none. I’ve never seen a late-deafened/cochlear implant commercial, nor a commercial about Meniere’s disease.

18. Something I really miss doing since I was diagnosed is:
Listening to music.

19. It was really hard to have to give up:
Friends who couldn’t cope with the new me accompanied by a service dog.

20. A new hobby I have taken up since my diagnosis is:

21. If I could have one day of feeling normal again I would:
Go to an amusement park and ride every roller coaster there!

22. My illness has taught me:
That the disability community is live and well and fully utilize the Internet to connect, support, share information and to be proactive.

23. Want to know a secret? One thing people say that gets under my skin is:
“Nevermind”. If you aren’t willing to repeat it for someone who hears differently are you not behaving as if it doesn’t matter to THEM?

24. But I love it when people:
Include me.

25. My favorite motto, scripture, quote that gets me through tough times is:
Helen Keller:  “Blindness separates us from things but deafness separates us from people. “

26. When someone is diagnosed I’d like to tell them:
Email me. Ask questions. I want to help!

27. Something that has surprised me about living with an illness is:
How family members who once knew you “when” are not willing to learn about the new you.

28. The nicest thing someone did for me when I wasn’t feeling well was:
Email me and ask how I was doing.

29. I’m involved with Invisible Illness Week because:
Many illnesses and disabilities are invisible. I want to raise awareness.

30. The fact that you read this list makes me feel:

Appreciative that you care enough to learn more!

Denise Portis

© 2011 Personal Hearing Loss Journal

One thought on “30 Things

  1. I find this posting so useful although al i have is a hearing loss this weekend when allergies kicked in i was deafer. I try not to use phones unless they are corded the sound is better. And i am lucky to still hear music.
    I am so glad to still have a sense of smell for brownies and baked bread, and a wife who at times has to tell me what someone speaking fast said. Take care and God bless.
    Tinnitus is a bear,

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