When you have a chronic illness, or two or three, there are many symptoms that are beyond troubling. Of course things like pain and fatigue are extremely upsetting, debilitating even.
But one of the most frustrating is that indefinable symptom. The only way that I can possibly describe it is to say that I feel strange.
It's a feeling I get all over my body, but especially in my head. It's this feeling that something is wrong, something just isn't right. But what? I couldn't tell you.
It's almost like a tingling feeling, or some sort of pressure. It is a feeling of weakness. Feeling like you must sit down as soon as possible or something bad will happen. What? Again, I couldn't tell you. But whatever it is I don't want to find out.
What can you do for a symptom that you can't even define? Well, not much. How do you explain to a doctor and get them to take you seriously? Well, that's another issue.
When other people ask what's bothering you, and the only answer you can give is “I feel weird”, this leads to a lot of confusion and frustration. The rest of the conversation often goes something like this:
Them: “What do you mean, what's wrong?”
Me: “I don't know, I just feel weird.”
Them: “What does that mean, does something hurt?”
Me: “Not really, I just feel really strange.”
Them: “Strange how?”
Me: “I don't know how to describe it, I just feel weird.”
Them: *Cue the dirty looks* “Okay, fine.”
This is life with chronic illness, having all kinds of weird and strange things happen to you. Things that others can't even fathom. It is being unable to satisfactorily answer what others want to know.
Life with chronic illness is living with the knowledge that some things will never be fixed. Because you don't even know what needs to be fixed.