Living And Working With An Invisible Illness

*I'm realizing that today falls on April Fool's Day - and that was unintentional. Sorry guys, no jokes or tricks here. Just me being vulnerable.

Through talking openly about living with Hashimoto's Disease, I've been able to make great connections and find others who support me.

But I don't share all of my medical disabilities with everyone. I don't know anyone who does.

Honestly, it's embarrassing. There's nothing worse than feeling like you don't fit in. And it's frustrating that my body fails me at times.

During the height of the pandemic (April 2020), I helped the local hospitals, police departments, and nursing homes by making masks. I donated about 750 masks and even sold a few on Etsy. I didn't know what to expect in the world - and wanted to help out - especially when things felt so uncertain.

As someone with a medical disability, I never thought masks would be imposed on me.

This is something only my immediate family is aware of; I've never publicly talked about before. I've been dealing with a lung condition since I was a little girl. It's extraordinarily painful and almost caused me to drop out of freshman year at college. I've never wanted anyone to know my body didn't work right. I have never needed anyone to take care of me or make changes for me. I've always quietly kept to myself and did what I needed to so I could stay healthy.

At first, I tried so very hard to fit in. After speaking with my doctor, we have determined that wearing a mask poses a health risk to me.

As you have probably done too, there are practical measures I take to keep myself healthy and safe. Our family has also taken the steps to make sure our bodies and minds are wholly healthy. We all take vitamin supplements and stay active each day. I eat clean, organic food (look up the Autoimmune Protocol Diet). Before I leave for a photo shoot, I check my temperate. The Lord willing, our preventive measures have worked; we've never had any sort of worries during this pandemic.

Everyone has been very understanding and considerate of my disability. But, if me not being able to wear a face mask will be an issue, please let me know so I can politely excuse myself from the situation.

If you’re interested in learning more, here are a few podcasts where I’ve been interviewed and have shared my Hashimoto's story:

Crushin' Lemons by Ryan: I kinda bombed this interview... but Ryan was a gracious host.

Becoming Buoyant Podcast by Emily: