Self Care

My Name is AutoImmune…

January 1, 2023

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Menopause and autoimmune disease can often go hand in hand. Fatigue, invisible illness, chronic pain and many other symptoms get blamed (sometimes falsely) on midlife… how do I know? I have three autoimmune diseases, and two neurological conditions that were ALL originally blamed on “just menopause”. Be your own advocate if you have symptoms that don’t seem to respond to typical treatment for menopause, or if you just know that something is off.
My name is Autoimmune.
Autoimmune support for women over 50

Hi, my name is Autoimmune and I’m an invisible chronic illness.

I am now velcroed to you for life. Others around you can’t see me or hear me, but YOUR body feels me.

I can attack you anywhere and anyhow I please. I can cause severe pain, or, if I’m in a good mood, I can just cause you to ache all over….

Remember when you and Energy ran around together and had fun?

I took Energy from you and gave you Exhaustion. Try to have fun now!

I also took Good Sleep from you and in its place gave you Brain Fog.

I can make you tremble internally, or make you feel cold or hot when everyone else feels normal.

Oh yeah, I can make you feel anxious or depressed too.

If you have something planned or are looking forward to a great day, I can take that away too.

You didn’t ask for me. I chose you for various reasons: that virus you had that you never recovered from, or that car accident, or maybe it was the years of abuse and trauma, or for no reason at all. Well, anyway, I’m here to stay!

I hear you’re going to see a doctor who can get rid of me. I’m rolling on the floor laughing! Just try. You will have to go to many, many doctors until you find one who can help you effectively. You will be put on pain pills, sleeping pills, energy pills; told you are suffering from anxiety or depression, given a TENS unit, get massaged, told if you just sleep and exercise properly I will go away; told it’s JUST menopause and put on hormones, told to think positively, poked, prodded, and MOST OF ALL, not taken as seriously as you feel when you cry to the doctor how debilitating life is every day.

Your family, friends, and coworkers will all listen to you until they just get tired of hearing about how I make you feel, and that I’m a debilitating disease. Some of them will say things like “Oh, you are just having a bad day” or “Well, I can’t do the things I used to do 20 YEARS ago”, not hearing that you said 20 DAYS ago. Some will just start talking behind your back, while you slowly feel that your are losing your dignity trying to make them understand, especially when your are in the middle of a conversation with a “Normal” person and can’t remember what word you were going to say next.

In closing, (I was hoping that I kept this part a secret..but I guess that you already found out!)….the ONLY place you will get the support and understanding you deserve in dealing with me is with other people in your tribe.

“Menopause and autoimmune disease can mimic each other. Be a Middle Girl. We need each other.”

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