Saturday, September 4, 2010

Crutches = Better Parking

My apartment complex has a series of handicap parking spots. For years, there were only 3 places by the door I use (only entrance with no steps) and the rest of the spaces were at the front door (many steps). This past year, all the handicap parking was moved to the side door since it is the only door that is "handicap accessible". 
It didn't take long for each of us "handicapped" people to get to know each other. And we each had our "spots". Then new comers arrived and we soon found our regular spots filled. So we were playing "musical chairs" with our cars. We simply took an empty spot. 

One day as I was returning from my chiropractor, I met a few fellow Handicappers. It didn't take long for them to share their frustration that some of the newbies were parking in "my spot". My spot? I didn't know I had an assigned spot. However, they had decided since I use crutches that I should have the spot closest to the door. I thanked them for their thoughtfulness, and then kindly reminded them that we all have some difficulty walking.  
As we continued talking about INVISIBLE illnesses vs VISIBLE, we each realized that we find it easier to give aid and sympathy to people when there is a visible sign. We each went our separate ways deep in our own thoughts:
If we who suffer from illness and pain
aren't acceptable "our own kind",
how can we expect those
who are healthy and well to accept us?

My crutches are a physical sign something is wrong, and people react to that knowledge (see post: Tues Aug 31, 2010)However, many people suffer from INVISIBLE illness. They don't use crutches, yet are suffering just the same. 

National Invisible Chronic 
Illness Awareness Week 
September 13-19, 2010 
is an annual event sponsored by Rest Ministries.  Visit and learn more about invisible illnesses. If you have an invisible illness yourself, you will find hope and encouragement. If you want to know more about helping and encouraging your friends and family members, you will find helpful information as well.

Creating a positive day is possible whether you have an illness or not. Although creating a positive day is a personal choice, it's much easier when you have help and support.
You can find help and support

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Free Ebook of 263 Tips

Invisible Illness Week Team
Offers Free Ebook of 263 Tips
ebook chronic illness Press Release   Invisible Illness Week Team Offers Free Ebook of 263 Tips20 Experts share their best tips about living with a chronic illness, from coping with illness and relationship tips to travel and homeschooling.
San Diego, CA — (SBWIRE) — 09/01/2010 —

National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week
is September 13-19, 2010.

 A free 80-page ebook is now available
for download to anyone who signs up
for daily updates from the website:

Chronic Illness Tips: 263 Ways To Do More Than Just Get By” is by Invisible Illness Week founder, Lisa Copen and friends. Friends include chronic illness career specialist Rosalind Joffe, relationship expert and best-selling author Pam Farrel, advocacy authority Jennifer Jaff, and illness advocate Jenni Prokopy.
Over 20 contributors share their best tips to live successfully with chronic illness on a variety of topics.
“These experts are people who have the credentials,” says author Lisa Copen, “but more importantly, they have experienced illness themselves or health issues of someone close to them. Their tips come from the experience of living with the challenges illness gives us.”
The chapters include coping tools, relationship issues, career, faith, and practical tips, from traveling with an illness to homeschooling. There are also many tips on how to encourage someone who lives with a chronic illness.
National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week is an annual event that features a free virtual conference online 9/13-17 with speakers each morning 10:30 – 12 USA Pacific time.
With nearly 1 in 2 people living with a chronic condition, about 96% of those people are suffering silently with invisible illnesses.
For more information visit

If you or someone you know has an invisible illness or deals with a chronic condition or pain, I recommend that you visit this site. You will not only be encouraged, but will gain many insights to making each day positive no matter the situation. Creating a positive day is possible, if you have the right tools and encouragement. Take a moment to check out and/or

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week

Today, I stopped at a grocery store to pick up some vegetables. I was moving slow, since my pain level was high. As I went down one narrow aisle, a lady hurriedly tried to get past me. I did my best to quickly move the cart out of her way, but I wasn't fast enough. The lady let out a string of swear words....then she suddenly stopped. Her face turned red and she quickly started to apologize...she had seen my crutches. Her attitude changed when she realized that I wasn't trying to be in her way.

People can see that I have a disability because I use crutches. Yet, nearly 1 in 2 people live with an "invisible illness" (arthritis, cancer, fibromyalgia, MS, etc.). Many people may "look normal" from the outside. (We do try to look our best when we are out in public... don't you?) However, we suffer from pain, fatigue, headaches, dizziness, etc. And those illnesses effect our everyday activities. Next time you are shopping and someone slows you down, take a moment to think, "that person may be suffering from chronic pain or illness".

Perhaps you are the 1 in 2 people who doesn't suffer from an illness or pain; however, you know someone who does. Oh you might not "know" they have an illness, but there are some signs—if you think about it. They may cancel plans at the last minute. Or they leave the party earlier than most. Or they just move slower than you'd like. The signs are there—if you want to notice.  If you'd like to know more about living with invisible illness or supporting your friends, check out:
National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week September 13-19, 2010 is an annual event sponsored by Rest Ministries, (a Christian organization that specifically serves the chronically ill). The hope of the people involved at National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week is to remind people that although they may feel like they are alone in their pain, there are people who do care and understand the unspoken language of invisible illness. 

Today, I could have let my shopping experience ruin my day. But creating a positive day is about looking for the good in each situation. Today I was able to share God's love with a lady. And I was reminded again, that many people are dealing with an illness or pain, and each one deserves some kindness and a positive word.