havin an invisible illness is not good,

i have had fibro now for 12 months, its getting worse, i have been told by hospital that i need to use a walking stick all the time as my balance not too good also i have osteoarthritis in my knee, i know this is silly but i am embarrassed to use it as fibro is not a visable illness, i know people will think i have nothing wrong, i take so many tablets, i have trouble sleeping, get very tired, x

11 Replies

  • I have recently been diagnosed with Osteoarthritis on top of everything else. Like you had to start using a walking stick. Still feel self-conscious but not embarrassed any more. Just think of it as an aid and as part of the new you. And give it a name! It's not easy but you will find it will get easier given time. Good luck.

  • get a jazzy one or decorate what you have. Stand proud and use your stick! I have crutches and would love a pair of red ones that some OT's/physios give out. my Mum used to say "if you've gotta wear a hat, wear a biggun!" a lot of people use stickers to brighten their sticks, I've got smiley faces on my crutches.



  • I used to feel the same, but after falling over and slipping a few times, I realised I had to use a stick, now I use crutches and people are used to seeing me with them now, and open doors and help me. My best friend also has crutches we look a right pair when we are out, she has put coloured stick on diamontes on hers. Just do it once and then it gets easier. Good luck x

  • I feel the same honey i struggle to use my stick, i started at 31 and at 33 i still get embarrased but slowly i think sod it i know i'm not faking it.

    Rachie xx

  • Diabetes is invisible too but it's real none the less. I agree with the others, get decorating, maybe with bells and whistles:)

  • I have sparkly walking sticks... A) I don't lose them...B) people notice them... I have fibro ibs chostochondritis and osteoarthritis ... Am only in my 40s ... When people as what's wrong with me I say arthritis .... Everyone says ... Ooh poor you and make me take the seats on the bus when I get out at the front.... I am sure if I said fibro. I,d get trampled on and get knocked to the back of the queue... I know it doesn't help awareness of our situation, but I have adapted sneakily to using the one illness I have everyone understands to my best advantage

    VG x

  • Ditto, my balance not at all good, plus arthritic toes and knees, without my stick I would be stuck at home, so bit the bullet and use it all the time now. It is hard to get used to, but now I feel strange without it! If it gives you more freedom and confidence then it's worth it. X

  • You only have to do a couple of times before you feel less self concious, I promise you I was the same at 36 and if I plan to go to the trafford centre they hire free of charge electric scooters ! no onelooked at me twice so the initial embarrassment didn't last long. Hold your head high you've nothing to be ashamed of xxx

  • thank you gailyg, i am going to give it a go and use my walking stick, i just dont like people judging when they have no idea whats wrong, xx

  • thank u everyone for your lovely help, its nice to chat to people on here as your all goin through the same, i am gonna have to try and use my walking stick and try not to think people are judging me, x

  • i use a walking stick as well - i actually have to but 99 per cent of the time i only use one i have had them for about 8 weeks now and i actually do feel lost without it

    use your stick it will help x

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