Sunday, October 30, 2011

Living with Invisible Disability - 1

 Isn’t it more interesting to skip around the details of our life stories, to tell the part that seems important right now, without the need for strict chronological order?
Today’s story is about invisible disability, mine, but perhaps it could be similar to 

The short version begins many years ago with a car accident, two months after I got married.  We were going to Macy’s to exchange gifts.  Another driver turned her car left without stopping or looking, and hit our car in the intersection.  I was left with neck and back pain, eventually taking time off work because it kept getting worse, returning to work, and continuing to work, with more or less pain, for many years as a family practice physician.  Eventually, over a period of years, the pain in my low back kept worsening, until finally, I couldn’t work as a family physician any more.  After a while, I created a transition into a different kind of practice, in which I can use a reclining chair to sit more comfortably, and offer counseling to those who see me, usually people who live with illness, stress, or medical conditions.  I feel incredibly fortunate and grateful that I can still use my experience as a family doctor and also my personal experience as a patient.

There are so many of us who have an invisible disability, something that disrupts our lives and causes discomfort or pain, that nobody can tell is there.  Sometimes people who are very close to us, family and friends, don’t “get it.”  They hear us talk, they know the facts, we tell them the things we can no longer do, but it just doesn’t seem real.  Seeing is believing.  I have talked with a number of people about how painful that can be, experienced it as well. 

We find support from those who see us truly and completely, often our partners who live with us and help us, and from each other.

What qualities does it take to make a good life with a disability, invisible or visible?  How do those qualities relate to our search for the hero?  Where can we find our inner courage, fortitude, and perseverance, and how can we accept ourselves on the days those qualities seem out of reach?  Is a sense of humor heroic?

I’d appreciate your comments…


  1. You might want to get that back pain checked. Ask for a second opinion from another doctor or chiropractor Melbourne.

  2. I suggest you consult a Physiotherapist. For physical therapy to be effective, it is important that you also responds positively to the treatment, and for that to happen you need to be in a positive state of mind. I wish you good health, Danille.

    Perth City physiotherapy

  3. I agree with the comments. You need to consult a doctor to help you ease the pain that you are dealing with. It's not easy to have back and neck pain that are being aggravated by stress and more. I hope that you are feeling better now.


  4. Thank you all for your comments and kind thoughts. I see a physiotherapist, various doctors, a chiropractor, a Heller bodywork practitioner, and have seen a variety of other excellent helpers over many years. As a physician, I certainly am in favor of doing what is necessary to feel better! In this post, I was sharing a piece of my story, and exploring some of the challenges of living with a disability and also asking us all to consider how we can acknowledge the inner qualities that allow us to live with one.

  5. Suffering such accident is never easy both physically and emotionally. You always have to be strong and have a positive outlook in life. It is important that you also have your self checked by expert chiropractors to know if you have internal problems that you might not be feeling right now but may be damaging your body silently. Always be strong.

  6. Most of us would not think of a headache as a serious health condition. However, if you experiences headaches fifteen days or more in a month, the individual may be suffering from a condition called chronic headache or chronic daily headache (CDH). It is claimed that chronic headache condition affects about 4%-5% of the general adult population.

    Contact Dr. Glenn Hyman, the best Chiropractic Denver. Who is running Denver Chiropractic Center and explain differnt sort of Reasons For Headaches and all other chronic headache conditions.