Reblog: Saving Face with a Chronic Illness – by Fibronacci at Pain(t)h.D.

I can relate to this so much. A zombie-like existence in a dystopian reality only I could see sums up nicely my 12 years of academic/work life before I crashed completely and left. I often wonder what sort of support and outlets could have helped me to stay on. This is a wonderful post and a beautiful painting by Fibronacci about the struggle of a chronically ill person trying to keep face and survive in the competitive and ableist culture of academia and similar fields of work.

Graduate School is full of overachieving people who care a lot about one thing – their research. That, and their perceived image with regards to their ability to face difficulties.

Crying or any expression of disability or needing accommodations to overcome disabilities (aka not always being 100% self-sufficient) is considered “weak” and people who engage in such are often considered as “not being suited for graduate school.”

Recently, I even talked about it in medical terms with one of my committee members, who was fairly nice and curiously to learn more about the disease – I was proud of this because I wouldn’t have been able to have this discussion a year ago, but I didn’t have a choice now as we had to climb stairs and I was slow. Yet, we talked about fibromyalgia as one might talk about a badly infected tooth that needs a root canal job.

Nobody can truly understand what it is like to live with a chronic pain condition unless they either have it themselves or know somebody very close who does (a spouse/partner, for instance).

So I continue to be unable to talk about the havoc that fibromyalgia has wrecked in my life, in person, with anybody other than my husband…

Read the full post at Saving Face with a Chronic Illness – Pain(t)h.D.


About Hypermobility Syndrome India/Viv

I an an Indian woman with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome Hypermobility Type (EDS-HT), also known as joint hypermobility syndrome. Although I have "suffered" from this disease all my life, I was diagnosed at 38 years, 2 years after my child was born. My work mainly involves being a mom to my beautiful and compassionate child. I also write and work from home in the field of science. I aim to raise awareness about EDS-HT, chronic pain, invisible illnesses, mental illnesses and invisible disabilities through my blogs. Viv (Latin root, meaning Life/ Alive) is my blogging pseudonym and alludes to my continued endeavor to rediscover my life and its meaning.
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