Chronic illness and chronic diseases.
Illnesses that are often invisible to the naked eye and unless you experience them for yourself the symptoms, the difficulties and trials we face can not be fully understood.
More, and more of us are being chronically unwell. Although numbers are growing we often feel more alone than ever.
We are left out in the cold by the health system and go through years of being dismissed, misdiagnosed and confused. Often told we are crazy.
Support groups and facts can be comforting but also helpful for ourselves who suffer to understand our symptoms as well as for others to understand further about chronic illnesses. They can be alarming and that's frightening but sometimes we need that fright to use to drive us to keep motivated and fight.
So here we go;
1. Chronic disease is responsible for 60 per cent of deaths worldwide.
2. 80 per cent of chronic disease deaths occur in middle income countries.
3. Almost half of chronic illness deaths occur in people under 70.
4. Around the world chronic disease effects both men and women equally.
5. Many factors of chronic illness can be linked to diet, physical activity and excessive toxin abuse.
6. Without actions 17 million people will die prematurely this year from chronic disease.
7. 1.5 billion people are overweight & obese.
8. 22 millions children under 5 are obese.
9. Tobacco caused 5 million deaths a year.
10. Some chronic diseases can be prevented and treated. Through diet, lifestyle and through treatment. Some cannot.
Not only do we cope with the pain, management and treatment of our illnesses we have to accept that we are more septic to catching other diseases and viruses. And when we are sick we are really poorly.
Some chronic illnesses can be worked on, treated and healed. That is great. People who are suffering from diseases such as heart disease and are overweight should take this as a bit of a blessing. They know that they can improve, improve their lives and health. Yes I am not doubting that it won't be hard but changing your diet, being more active can help you heal. You should take comfort in that.
Others aren't so lucky.
We face our bodies attacking itself everyday. Trying to kill us from the inside out.
We didn't ask for this. We have always tried to eat healthy, were active and took care of ourselves. Yet now we have all of that taken away from us. We do all we can, eat what we can, move when we can, rest more, take on intense treatments but we can only manage our conditions. Knowing the pain will never truly ease is a hard fact to accept.
Often chronic diseases are placed under the umbrella that we caused these health issues. We are responsible for becoming sick becuase some diseases can be healed with our own work and were a cause due to our lack of self-care. I am beginning to think we all get 'you only have your self to blame' you were the one who sat down all day eating fast food everyday for lunch and a full packet of biscuits at night. That when someone becomes unwell with a disease that is totally out of our control we are branded as crazy. How can we not be to blame? It baffles the health industry and we are so complex that they don't want to deal with us. It is easier to tell us we are crazy so that their lack of knowledge and holes in their abilities aren't shown or tested. They don't have to invest money, time and their support in us. I know the NHS is under immense strain and chronic diseases are a nightmare to them but avoiding, pointing blame and ignoring them is not the answer.
So many face selling their homes, giving up their livelihoods, selling family lunes to fund treatment, treatment abroad or money to simply live.
We feel alone.
Shut out by the health industry and trailing treatments which we don't know if they will help us or cause us more suffering.
Our lives aren't straight forward.
Everyday is a fight.
Every second is a struggle.
Basic tasks take longer, are more tasking.
We grieve our old lives and so desperately want them back so put ourselves through intense treatments and put ourselves under immense financial strain.
Would someone who is 'crazy' go to all these lengths to get better.
Chronic illness and disease should be taken more seriously. The numbers are alarmingly on the rise.
We feel alone - but are far from alone. We are a growing community. Who rely on our own research, other stories, treatment advice to help us find the right path to go down or trial.
We work together to raise our voices - to be heard.
So much of our suffering is invisible but the threat and growing problem is not invisible. It is clear to see. The facts are there - people are becoming more poorly. Contracting chronic diseases that leave their lives to be a struggle. Almost like a jail sentence - in and out of hospital for years and years.
We don't want to drain the NHS anymore. However it's a basic human right to have the best bill of health we possibly can.
If you are suffering from chronic illness, how have you found treatment? How have you been treated? Do you feel alone? Let me know.
I hope you all have a blessed weekend.
Love and peace