Once a week, I show up bright and early for my 7 a.m. Toastmasters meeting, just as I have been doing every week for 28 years. (I did miss several meetings after being freshly diagnosed with a heart attack in 2008 – the year that, sadly, I lost the coveted Rise and Shine Attendance Award to my pal and archrival, Jim). But because early morning is almost always my best time of day (e.g. minimal cardiac symptoms), if you met me for the first time only during that very early weekly meeting, you would not guess that I live with something called inoperable coronary microvascular disease (MVD).
I don’t wear a neck brace or leg cast or any other visible sign that something is wrong. Because this debilitating heart condition is invisible, I often look and sound relatively “normal”. And if you’re lucky enough to live with healthy privilege, it can be almost impossible to understand what having an invisible chronic illness is like. Continue reading “Invisible Illness Week – seeing what others can’t see”