Invisible Illness Week takes place in early September. No, September is not a time to be diagnosed with an invisible illness. It’s a time to spread the word. Invisible Illness Awareness Week.
Despite my general I Won’t Tell stance, I have started doing a little bit of education for those around me. What does it say if someone is my friend for years and still doesn’t know anything about RA? Does it say that they’re self-centered, or that I don’t tell my friends about things that matter to me?
Awareness can’t be limited to a one-week event. Tools can be provided during that week so that we’re better able to cope with illness, and better able to share information with others. I’ve tried a few easy ways to help spread the word.
- In late May, RA Guy posted his 60-Second Guide to Rheumatoid Arthritis. It’s a super piece of writing. I passed the link on to everyone in my address book and received a number of positive responses.
- Become a Fan on facebook cause pages. FB friends see our causes. Even if they don’t learn anything, they’re introduced to issues. I can build on that initial contact.
- With family, I didn’t know of any pertinent medical history. When I asked, though, people started talking. It turns out that there is a family history of RA, but everyone’s as private as I am so nobody had ever talked about it.
- I’m going to start working on my church’s pastor so that next year we can have bulletin inserts, and maybe have a few people share their stories.
This week has gotten me thinking of ways to (without being obnoxious) help spread the word.