I’m sick. That’s a fact. I am sick. However, not many people seem to realize it. Ever since I started using a wheelchair a year and a half ago my illness has somehow become more invisible than it already was. I’m a full time college student and every time I go to class or a club meeting in my wheelchair people look at me and see someone who is completely healthy, just happens to be in a chair. People think I’m paralyzed or have muscle weakness or something. They don’t ask me why I’m in the chair and if they see me get up or use my cane they suddenly get all confused.
I know people get annoyed much of the time when people in wheelchairs get asked “What’s wrong with you?’ or something alone those lines. But just once I wish someone would ask me. If they did they would learn something about one of the biggest facets of my life. My illness isn’t just a chair, its not just about my ability to walk. It’s about so many things.
When I’m sitting in class about to throw up because my stomach is paralyzed, I wish someone would ask. When in a club meeting im sweating from fever, I wish someone would ask. The thing is no one ever does.
Invisible illness is invisible because people want it that way, and if people would take just a little more time to notice and care about others around them than we could all understand each others plights. Lets try, just for this week, to ask more questions, to show more compassion, and to really listen to each other.