Invisible Illness Awareness Week

This is a survey from the Inivisible Illness Awareness Week online conference, which is taking place from Mon., 9/14 – Sun., 9/20.  You can read my article about it at

30 Things About My Invisible Illness You May Not Know

1. The illness I live with is:  Heart disease

2. I was diagnosed with it in the year:  don’t know; I was born with it

3. But I had symptoms since:  forever

4. The biggest adjustment I’ve had to make is:  picking and choosing activities based on my energy level.

5. Most people assume:  when they first meet me, that I’m just like everyone else.

6. The hardest part about mornings are:  getting out of bed and taking all of my pills (11).  I have to take them with food, but I’m not always hungry.  However, if I don’t eat with my pills, I get sick.

7. My favorite medical TV show is:  Grey’s Anatomy (returns 9/24; Yay!)

8. A gadget I couldn’t live without is:  My TV 🙂

9. The hardest part about nights are:  not being able to sleep; being in pain

10. Each day I take __ pills & vitamins. (No comments, please) 18

11. Regarding alternative treatments I:  haven’t thought about any

12. If I had to choose between an invisible illness or visible I would choose: invisible

13. Regarding working and career:  I work as a freelance writer, part time, from home, on my time

14. People would be surprised to know:  How tired I really feel all the time

15. The hardest thing to accept about my new reality has been:  my reality is not new, but the hardest part to accept is that I’ll probably never be able to do a lot of the things I wanted, like have my own child; have a full-time career, in or out of the house; run, skip, jump and play.

16. Something I never thought I could do with my illness that I did was:  attend a rock concert 🙂  (Def Leppard in 1993)

17. The commercials about my illness: Only talk about people who GET heart diesease, not those of us born with it.

18. Something I really miss doing since I was diagnosed is:  again, I was born with it, but what I’ve ALWAYS wanted to do is run up a hill.

19. It was really hard to have to give up:  being able to participate in all of the activities when I was in school.

20. A new hobby I have taken up since my diagnosis is:  I’ve always loved to write and watch movies.

21. If I could have one day of feeling normal again I would: run up that hill 🙂

22. My illness has taught me:  that life is precious, and you should appreciate what you do have.

23. Want to know a secret? One thing people say that gets under my skin is:  oh, come on, you can stay a while longer, can’t you?

24. But I love it when people:  understand that I can’t stay longer, I’m simply ready to go home.

25. My favorite motto, scripture, quote that gets me through tough times is:  "I felt sorry for myself because I had no shoes until I met the man who has no feet" (my father-in-law loved this statement; I don’t know where it originates from.)

26. When someone is diagnosed I’d like to tell them:  that everything is going to be ok, and I’m happy to help and support them through anything they need.

27. Something that has surprised me about living with an illness is: how much you appreciate life.

28. The nicest thing someone did for me when I wasn’t feeling well was:  lots of things: send me cards and fun gifts; visit me in the hospital; keep me company in the ER; bring me food; send me flowers; and tons more.

29. I’m involved with Invisible Illness Week because:  I believe if more people understood that just because a person doesn’t look sick doesn’t mean they feel good, there would be more understanding of dealing with these illnesses in everyday life.

30. The fact that you read this list makes me feel:  honored, loved, and blessed.


About Andrea

Andrea Buginsky is a freelance writer with a BA in Mass Communication-Journalism from the University of South Florida. She has always wanted to be a published writer, and decided to try to write fantasy books for teens. The Chosen is her first book, and was released on December 14, 2010, to her delight. Andrea has written five more books since: Nature's Unbalance: The Chosen, Book 2 Striker's Apprentice: The Chosen, Book 3 Destiny: New Avalon, book 1, a YA fantasy Fate: New Avalon, book 2, a YA fantasy My Open Heart, an autobiography of growing up with heart disease. She is currently writing the fourth book in The Chosen series. Andrea lives in Kansas with her family, which includes her two precious puppies.
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