This is one of the most frustrating things to hear as a chronically ill person. I know that may sound weird; no one WANTS to look sick. But having an invisible illness such as POTS makes us seem less credible somehow. I have been accused of faking it because I don’t “look sick.” What does a sick person look like? You have no idea what sort of struggles a person may be going through based on how they look. One thing that drives me crazy is people who leave notes on the car of someone who parked in a handicap space who didn’t look like they needed it. This hasn’t happened to me personally, but I do get dirty looks when I use my handicap placard. I do not take advantage of it or abuse it like some people do. I only use it when I really need it. There are some days when I just cannot walk the entire length of a parking lot. Also, when you don’t look sick, sometimes family members don’t believe you, particularly extended family members who don’t see you every day and witness the things that you go through. ANOTHER one is when trying to explain your illness to a prospective dating partner, and they say “but you don’t look sick, so it must not be that bad.” Come on! Really?! Let me tell you something. Bathing is difficult. You’re lucky I’m not going out in public unclean and smelly. A bath is so exhausting that afterwards I no longer have the energy to do my hair or makeup most days. But I don’t look sick enough……..? I’m almost emaciated at this point and I’m still hearing “but you don’t look sick.” Okay, great, thanks, but I am. The biggest problem I’ve had is when you go to the doctor and you’re trying to explain to them how you’ve been doing, how bad your symptoms have been, etc., and they say something like “but you look so healthy!” This happened to me at the hematologist’s office. I was wearing makeup that day. Concealer, bronzer, blush, the works. She said, “You have great color in your cheeks.” Duh… it’s blush! So I no longer wear makeup to the doctors’ office. It’s sad when you feel like you have to make yourself look sicker so that doctors will believe you. Sometimes I do wish I looked worse than I do, but I know that I should be thankful. I’m just tired of not being taken seriously, and I know that a lot of other chronic illness sufferers feel this way, too. How do you guys feel about this? Comments are welcomed!

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❤ Gina


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