WEGO Health Advocating for Another Carnival: Inside a Fishbowl Post

Welcome to the first post of the week-long carnival hosted by WEGO Health.  This special writing carnival focuses on health activists who dedicate their time advocating for someone else.

Today for the first post I have decided to use one of the bonus prompts given.  The reason for this is that today’s prompt asked to provide a descriptive portrait of the health community and to provide an image.  However, as, I have mentioned before, the condition which I suffer from is an invisible, therefore, even I were to provide a descriptive portrait of the health community it wouldn’t shed light on the condition.  In addition, as the condition is neurological in nature, it means that not every patient is the same, each unique and each exhibiting different symptoms.

The bonus prompt I have decided to use is entitled ‘From Inside the Fishbowl’ which asks:

People think that they know what your life is like – but appearances can be deceiving.  Write a paragraph about what your life looks like from the outside looking in – then write a paragraph about what it’s actually like from inside.

So, if I and others like me in the wider health community were to be placed inside a fishbowl, seeing what my life looks like from the outside looking in they may come to the conclusion that my life was pretty great.  Maybe they would conclude that there isn’t much wrong, I look ‘normal’, and am able to walk, talk, able to complete chores around the house.

However, as with all invisible chronic health conditions, the daily struggles and the symptoms with which I experience on a daily basis cannot be seen, they are invisible to the naked eye.  If these were visible, people would be able to see the overwhelming fatigue that I often experience especially in the evenings, often needing to change into a comfortable pair of pyjamas before 7.00 p.m.  The dizziness and imbalance that I constantly feel would be visible, the imbalance being characterised by the swaying back and forward that I experience when standing, legs visibly shaking also.  It would also not be known that due to the spastic paraparesis that I suffer makes my legs feel incredibly stiff and weak, leading to the giving of way of legs, falls experienced on a regular basis.

If my life were visible inside a fishbowl, I hope people would understand how the condition in which I suffer has a negative impact upon all areas of my life, and how even though I may look fine, it is not often the case, instead feeling unwell the majority of the time – dizzy, my whole world moving and shifting.  It would clearly be visible all the problems faced in terms of the mobility – the weakness in the legs, the trembling sensations that I feel, making them feel as if they are constantly shaking whenever I am standing.  The tiredness I feel the majority of the time – the constant state of fatigue drowning me.  Hope it just goes to show that appearances can be deceptive, and although a person may appear healthy and ‘normal; it may not necessarily be the case.

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