Invisible Awareness Week is September 12th – 18th this year. I love the theme of this year’s promotion. How often do we take a DEEP BREATH and START FRESH? Perhaps the better question is how often do we NEED to do these two things?
Invisible illness or disability definitely takes adjustment. However, just when we may feel as if we have adjusted to a new lifestyle something will happen to take us back to “ground zero”. It may be that your disability or illness is progressive. Or perhaps, your life has simply changed in such a way that living with your challenges requires a new plan. For example, my children are now adults. Even though they still live at home at 21 and 20-years of age, both are working and going to college. This means that they may LIVE here, but I don’t see them as often as I did when they were younger. That means I don’t have the assistance of people who hear as often as I once did.
Part of the reason I decided to train and be matched with a canine partner, was so that I would be independent of my family’s help. Chloe has been a big blessing and I am grateful for her work of being my EARS and to help me with balance-related tasks. For all that she does, however, there are things she cannot do for me. A couple of weeks ago I needed to make a doctor’s appointment. The voice on the other end of the line had a heavy accent. Chloe obviously cannot assist me in understanding a voice with a heavy accent. However, I have found that because my life changes have been gradual, I already had a plan in place for when no one was home to help me with a call that had a heavily accented voice.
Are you a person living with a chronic or invisible illness? Do you have an invisible (or visible) disability? Do a quick assessment of your life, coping mechanisms, and skills. Do you need to take a deep breath and start fresh?
If you are a person living with invisible illness, I encourage you to check out the site for Invisible Awareness Week. Perhaps you can help to spread the word! There are a great number of resources available at the website.
© 2011 Personal Hearing Loss Journal