One side effect of being young, female and sick: People won’t believe you

Market Watch interviewed Lent Hirsch, author of the new book, “Invisible: How Young Women with Serious Health Issues Navigate Work, Relationships, and the Pressure to Seem Just Fine,” which came out late last month.

From the article:

"Statistics show that young women are disproportionately affected by certain diseases and health conditions, she says — and that’s hard enough.

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New Podcast: We want [to interview] you!

I started this blog a couple of years ago because I was tired of doctors treating me like some sort of criminal for seeking treatment for my symptoms. After years of going to doctor after doctor who told me my symptoms were all in my head I was finally diagnosed with lupus. As someone desperate for relief from extreme bouts of fatigue that stopped me from living my life, the attitude from doctors that somehow I wanted to be sick was infuriating.  

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Story: "I can't count the number of doctors"

In 2002 when I was 18, I became pregnant with my son. That was when the problems first started. I was very sick throughout the pregnancy, and I became housebound fairly early into it after needing to quit my job as a server at a restaurant because the smells of the food made me ill & left me feeling on the verge of vomiting. It was also during this time the normal energy I once had seemed to disappear. I'm not sure if the hormone changes during pregnancy triggered this problem to begin or what. All I know is that to this day, now 16 years later (& many years past even my most recent pregnancy with my daughter in 2011) I'm still struggling with this unexplained exhaustion. I'll admit it hasn't been a constant, unrelenting thing for the past 16 years. I experience some good days, sometimes even weeks, & occasionally full months if I'm really lucky where I actually feel like I have somewhere near "normal" energy levels that are on par with many other people. I've never had even a full year of being "normal" however, since 2002.

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Story: "Horror of horrors"

The week after my thirty-first birthday, I developed an infection in my left lung and ear. At the time, I was working for the largest medical system in the state of South Carolina. I’ve had asthma and allergies since age three, so lung and ear infections are nothing new for me.

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