Invisible pain. I hate it.
Strong words I know, but my frustration comes from the fact that I look fine on the outside, while I feel like I am crumbling on the inside due to pain.
Invisible diseases such as Fibromyalgia, arthritis, Interstitial Cystitis (IC), or also known as Bladder Pain Syndrome (BPS), can cause excruciating pain when in a flare, but no one sees it.
They would only know if I told them.
And let’s be honest, people get a little uncomfortable when you talk openly about your bladder and Painful Floor Dysfunction (PFD) that comes with IC.
So, I just keep moving along with a smile on my face. But, there are some days that are better than others.
On good days, I will park anywhere. But on days when I am in severe pain/ or in a flare, and I have to run to the store, or go to a doctor appointment, the “dirty” looks that I get from parking in a handicapped parking spot is an additional pain and shame that I feel.
Shame for I look normal on the outside and know that they are judging me. Emotional pain for feeling the frustration of having an autoimmune disease that causes havoc to my life, career and family.
No one wants to park in a handicapped parking spot for it means your quality of life is altered. Who wants that?
So, next time you see someone parked in a handicapped spot that doesn’t have a cane, or a wheel chair, please show some compassion. You don’t know what that person is going through.
And there lies the dilemma of living with an Invisible Disease.