This story is set when I was suffering from my first major fibromyalgia flare up during my second pregnancy. I didn’t even know I had it because doctors had diagnosed me with hypremesis graverium (severe debiltating morning sickness). I had been in and out of hospital numerous times and was so dizzy, naseous and in pain all the time that I was bed ridden for about 3 months solid.
When I had become a bit stronger towards the middle of the pregnancy I was able again to drive but the naseua, fatigue and vertigo were still overwhelming. This day, I had parked in a high rise car park and started what felt like the marathon journey to get from the car to my obstetrician. I opted for the lift (the only option really unless I wanted to face potential serious injury falling down the stairs) and waiting and waited. The lift went past twice full to the brim. The third time after what seemed like an eternity I realized I had to push in because I was feeling faint from standing.
As soon as I did a lady at the back of the list remarked “why don’t people just use the stairs”. I replied “I’m feeling really sick – that’s why I couldn’t” to which she scoffed. I said louder “don’t worry, I don’t think morning sickness is contagious”. Rude, yes. And this is what people with invisible illnesses have to deal with every day.
Initially I just thought what a nosy bitch. But looking back on it and over the journey I’ve had over the last year I realize that perhaps that lady was in a similar situation. Perhaps she was angry because she was dealing with chronic pain and she had to let out her frustration.
So I’m more mindful and less quick to judge anyone for any reason now.