The word ADVANTAGE seems inappropriate so allow me to explain. IF someone walks with a cane, that individual no longer suffers from an invisible illness. People are kinder, get up to give that person a seat on a bus or in a doctor’s clinic. Someone might even offer to carry his/her shopping bags to the car … and we have patience of he/she walks slowly in a supermarket, even if we want to pass with our large, wide trolley. But, if that same individual ventures out without his/her cane, that act has changed the problem into an invisible one. SO, what we can’t see, might be hurting someone else … only due to the fact that we no longer see outward signs.
What about the people suffering from heart diseases, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, a psychiatric disorder, cancer or an autoimmune illess? Add to this list C.F.S. (chronic fatigue syndrome) rheumatoid arthritis and Gaucher’s disease; a rare genetic disorder that causes bone pain and fractures, an enlarged spleen and liver, severe swelling, fatigue, and a lot more. Because so much of their time is spent visiting doctors and undergoing various tests, these patients are forced to take too much time off work thus often losing their jobs. In short, living with chronic pain impacts one bodies, thoughts and general behavior.
Due to the fact that I know a few people who suffer from invisible illnesses, I am trying to be far more empathetic and patient.