Ableism is defined as "the discrimination or prejudice against individuals with disabilities.” Has anyone experienced this type of discrimination before? If you're comfortable, share some of your experiences in this forum.
Not sure this is considered discriminattion. I've been fortunate with my NMO & have re-learned to walk. My sight came back, though not as clear. Looking at me, people don't see the constant neuropathy, tingling, muscle spasms & fatigue. My balance is not great either. I have people, even some close friends & relatives, asking me why I have a disability parking pass, why some days I have a cane....that I'm not disabled...what's my problem anyway. Even after trying to explain NMO, relatives keep saying, push, push, push yourself past your fatigue. Push past NMO fatigue is like trying to stop a hurricane with a desk fan.
I think this totally fits the definition. Wow, i'm so sorry you're getting these kinds of comments ! The "Push past" bit really hurts to hear but also shows how disconnected people can be. As if you can wake up and tell your body to "push". I'm so glad to hear you're on the path re-learning how to walk and some vision returning! How are you doing as a whole? - Jada (neuromyelitis-optica.net team member)
Hi Jada - I'm doing great, thank you. I've had NMO now for 6 yrs, tho as you know, it seems to always be a work in progress. I feel fortunate as I can walk, though I am careful. Walking on flat surfaces is fine, but outside on uneven ground is a challenge! The heat/humidity has given me problems this summer, but again, I feel so fortunate that I am able to walk and see. Hopefully with the treatments I take, this will continue!! I hope you are doing well.
Monica Jones Moderator
When you have an invisible illness, I feel like it is very easy for people to judge and discriminate because physically you appear to be ok. On top of NMO, I am also an amputee and I have had a disabled parking placard for years. Because it is my toes that have been amputated and normally I have shoes on, they cant tell that I have difficulty walking. When it comes to my NMO I am blind in one eye, and the bouts of vertigo I sometimes have is crippling so sometimes I use my cane to guide me and I had even had medical professionals ask me what is wrong with me. Its discouraging, and the fact that people associate having a disability with something that can be seen needs to change.
I agree with you. People need to be more aware of unseen disabilities.
Sandra Adda Moderator & Contributor
I have experienced the"but you don't look sick' so many countless times, trying to explain my chronic fatigue and pain.