1. The illness I live with is: Rheumatoid Arthritis and Bipolar Disorder.
2. I was diagnosed with it in the year: 2005.
3. But I had symptoms since: 1999.
4. The biggest adjustment I’ve had to make is: not being able to work.
5. Most people assume: I can do more than I can.
6. The hardest part about mornings are: the side effects of my meds.
7. My favorite medical TV show is: House.
8. A gadget I couldn’t live without is: my laptop computer.
9. The hardest part about nights are: constant pain.
10. Each day I take 27 pills & vitamins. (No comments, please)
11. Regarding alternative treatments I: find the benefits are too slight matter.
12. If I had to choose between an invisible illness or visible I would choose: neither.
13. Regarding working and career: I still manage to write a little (in 10-15 minute sessions).
14. People would be surprised to know: I must fight pain and depression on a constant basis.
15. The hardest thing to accept about my new reality has been: a major loss of mental abilities (concentration and memory).
16. Something I never thought I could do with my illness that I did was: accept that it was permanent.
17. The commercials about my illness: are too understated to impact people who do not have the diseases.
18. Something I really miss doing since I was diagnosed is: memorizing and physical activities.
19. It was really hard to have to give up: long walks, fishing and hunting.
20. A new hobby I have taken up since my diagnosis is: internet networking.
21. If I could have one day of feeling normal again I would: spend it walking in the wilderness.
22. My illness has taught me: self control.
23. Want to know a secret? One thing people say that gets under my skin is: I told you about this already.
24. But I love it when people: respond to my honesty by letting me know about their own struggles.
25. My favorite motto, scripture, quote that gets me through tough times is: "Courage is the capacity to go from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm." --Winston Churchill
26. When someone is diagnosed I’d like to tell them: it's a good thing, because now you know what you're dealing with.
27. Something that has surprised me about living with an illness is: you can still enjoy life.
28. The nicest thing someone did for me when I wasn’t feeling well was: the brethren of my lodge have been driving me to bimonthly specialist appointments (2.5 hours of driving, wait and then return) for the past 3 years.
29. I’m involved with Invisible Illness Week because: healthy people will never understand chronic illness if we who are ill do not speak about our experiences.
30. The fact that you read this list makes me feel: like the effort is not wasted.
Find out more about National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week and the 5-day free virtual conference with 20 speakers Sept 14-18, 2009 at www.invisibleillness.com
For more of Clayton Bye's writing, visit his website or become a fan.