I’ve read several great blogs and articles on invisible illnesses lately. My mind is very preoccupied with worry about an appointment I have at the end of the week but I wanted to write something. I guess if you’re just skimming the surface of people with chronic illnesses, things may seem invisible, but when you know someone well, and if you just pay closer attention – there isn’t anything invisible about chronic illness. You CAN see pain and the changes that have happened. Especially if you knew this person before they got sick. The spark in their eyes dims, their smile changes, their hair and skin dulls, their weight often fluctuates. This picture shows me 2 weeks before I got sick (in the pink shirt) – happy, healthy weight, full face, glowing skin, full of energy, feeling alive. The picture next to it is me about 8 months after getting sick, and a little less than a month after I got my diagnosis of dysautonomia. I am grotesquely thin – slightly hidden by my thick jacket, my eyes are sunken in, my skin is sickly pale – I’m smiling but it was forced. My mom was in town visiting and I just wanted to get out of the house. It had been a rough day. We walked down the street and back. So while we may not have completely transparent signs of illness… If you really pay attention to a loved one with a chronic illness, I can guarantee you will see at least one thing that has changed in them since they became ill, or while they’re flaring.