The Second Full Week* of September is…
(* Mon. thru Sun.)
National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week
They’re EVERYWHERE! They’re at the store, at church, at the park, in the movie theatre, in their cars… they may be at your school, your children’s daycare, or even in your workplace! Everywhere. You wouldn’t know it, either; because – while they, themselves, are not invisible – the illnesses which people with invisible chronic illnesses (PWICI’s) have are NOT visible. That’s right: no canes, no walkers, no wheelchairs, dogs or other devices… no pasty-pallor or other-wise strange coloring; no appearance of illness or give-away lack of hair to clue you in, either. PWICI’s are very visible (usually… within their better days/moments, anyway?), despite their very invisible illnesses. PWICI’s could be anywhere around you any day (and they are). They may look like the average Joe, a young athletic guy, a cute kid, a business person or even a mega-model. They could look like… well, anybody! Because that’s exactly who they are – PWICI’s are simply people – here, there, & everywhere – who happen to have a chronic illness which isn’t perceptible to you or I or to our naked eyes.
1 in 2 people in the USA live with a chronic condition,
and 96% of illnesses are invisible.
You may be tempted to tell someone whom you’ve come to know as being a PWICI, “you’re looking good!” DON’T. While this is a common faux pas (& often well-intentioned &/or mistakenly thought of as complimentary or encouraging), it actually has the affect of making things worse by implying that they must not be all that ill, being that they look so well & all – which is not at all helpful, & can actually feel downright discouraging & unsupportive to the PWICI’s. In fact, recently, National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week (NICIAW) surveyed 1200 PWICI’s to compile a collaborative list of possible responses to that statement (you can read those here). It’s that common of an occurrence, unfortunately. Another organization, The Invisible Disabilities Advocate®, uses the statement as the title of an informative booklet which helps others better understand what PWICI’s go through – it’s entitled, “But You LOOK Good!™” (you can find that here).
FREE webinars are available this week (starting @ 9 a.m. PDT, Mon. 9/14/09) on various invisible illness topics. Previous webinars are also available there, to listen to. Just click on the widget below, for those:
You can also use this link:
Invisible Illness Week – A Little Help Gives a Lot of Hope
Visit these websites for more info:
Related Care-Aware™ Posts:
…and about a bazillion more references to various invisible illnesses, throughout the Care-Aware™ blog (feel free to browse).
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