I am one of those people who live with invisible disabilities. Unfortunately, last week, they became very visible.
I could not stand or walk. I have Rheumatoid Arthritis and have done so since I was 13 years old. Now that I am in my 40's the Rheumatoid has become dogged. It attacks my organs as well as my joints. The pain can be unbearable and there have been many times my partner, David, has found me, passed out on the floor.
For me, Level 10 of the pain scale, is passed out.
I also had an accident nearly 10 years ago. It was a workplace accident and it occurred on the 11th of October, 2007. That date is etched into my memory and each year the 11th of October is difficult to me.
Basically, it was me, all 5 foot 3 and a half of me, against a two sided trolley of 100 steel framed chairs. I was toast. The extent of my injuries took 4 years to discover. After 20 painful surgeries, I was found Totally and Permanently Disabled. When I was having my surgeries, my disability was evident, but when you no longer have the paraphernalia, people don't see the disability.
In 2016, I had Septicaemia for 8 weeks. 8 weeks of poisoned blood travelling through every organ and system in your body. Then I got the bad one, Golden Staph Septicaemia. That one nearly did me in. I was on the hardcore antibiotics for 4 weeks and I was so sick. It takes around 12-18 months to get over it and I struggle every day with the damage it did to my body.
Some days (though they are few) will be a good day. For me a good day is when the pain is bearable and I can stay awake for 8 eight hours straight. Most days are bad days. I'm riddled with pain, unable to keep food down and limping or not walking at all.
Please remember us guys, with invisible disabilities. We don't want it. We don't want our bodies falling apart, we don't want to be chronically ill and to be in chronic pain.
JATOE was built when I was found Totally and Permanently Disabled. I was determined not to go on Disability benefits, but, nearly every day is a struggle for me. So if your parcel is a couple of days late, please remember, there is a 40+ year old woman, trying her damn best to keep everyone at JATOE happy.
Love you, mean it!