Over at WEGO Health this month is ‘Health Activist Inspiration Month’. The purpose of this month is to celebrate what drives health activists to empower themselves and others as well as the inspiration behind what makes them carry on the important work. As part of the celebrations, I have decided to share the inspiration behind the blog and what inspires me personally.
My inspiration comes from the loneliness and isolation that I felt after my diagnosis of a long-standing brain stem lesion and spastic paraparesis. Like most other people, I turned to the internet – searching various search engines for any information about the condition, and organisations or blogs where I could connect with others exhibiting the same condition. Imagine my disappointment when I found that there was no such information or support networks out there, adding to the loneliness and isolation I already felt after a long battle with trying to get diagnosed, as well as how different I felt from others my age due to the symptoms I was experiencing.
After inspiration from a close friend and fellow blogger, I decided to start my own blog and so it was born in January 2012 so that no one else who may in the future be diagnosed with the same condition will go through what I did – feeling as if they were the only one going through this and that no one else understands what it is like!!
I have now begun supporting the ‘Invisible Illness Awareness Week Project’ and the inspiration behind supporting the cause as my neurological condition qualifies as an invisible illness – by looking at me you would never though that there was anything wrong. But that isn’t the case as my days are filled with constant dizziness, frequent attacks of vertigo and visual disturbances, as well as the stiffness and weakness in the lower extremities. Many people underestimate the effects of invisible illness or dismiss them entirely, claiming that the person is lazy or “that it’s all in their head” and so on.
It is due to these common misconceptions that inspired me to write about my life and journey with this condition – as many doctors for years blamed my symptoms on anxiety. In want to be able to express the truth about invisible illnesses as well as dispelling those myths that many people hold.
And now I find that although non-one else I have ‘met’ has the same condition or disability that I have, nevertheless I have come across many other patients and bloggers out there that I have been able to connect with and gain understanding and friendship. And the inspiration that keeps me going? Receiving messages of support during a bad day can mean the world…