June 6th is the “Day of Visibility” for people living with invisible diseases.
Most of the time, I look like a completely healthy twenty-one year old.
And I work hard to stay that way :].
I ride my bike [complete with the classic awkward nose zit. Twenty-one, that still happens].
Get entirely too excited about doing the track at school with my friend Sam . . .
Travel . . . and jump a lot and wear ridiculous outfits.
Rock out on the beach . . .
Go for “photo shoot walks” with friends.
And generally do awesome shit.
But there’s the other part. The part where I manage an invisible chronic disease every day. The part where the only visible signs of this disease might be the medical ID bracelet that would have been on my left wrist in each of the above pictures or the blue inhaler in my pocket.
The part where I take multiple medications a day to stay healthy. The part where I inhale and snort steroids [corticosteroids] to decrease the inflammation in my lungs and sinuses. The part where I take three maintenance inhalers a day to try to keep things this way.
The part where I am working to stay healthy by taking my medicine and staying active and keeping myself in a sense of balance.
The part where I look healthy, but I’m exhausted but I am sick and fighting it out.
The part where I do the best I can, increase my meds as I’m supposed to, and still that’s not good enough.
The part where I’m ready to just say “fuck asthma”.
And the part where I cycle back to the first section.
The part where I live my life in a sense of coexistence with this disease that you can’t see on the outside.
The part where I do awesome shit.
The part where I know I can do this, even when it’s hard.
The part where I live my life.