I recently went on a weekend trip to the coast with a group of friends. We stopped at the Tillamook Cheese Factory to stretch our legs and let ourselves be tempted by the local ice cream.
We looked like everyone else there, except some of us have Parkinson’s. Some of our symptoms are obvious but for the most part they are unremarkable. None of us consider herself to be disabled, even if we have a progressive neurological disease.
We look healthy — and happy — right? We are!
Many people living with Parkinson’s are fully active in their lives, including work, families and outside activities. Still, we struggle to get through our days.
The term invisible disability is being used more commonly to refer to symptoms such as debilitating pain, fatigue, dizziness, cognitive dysfunctions, brain injuries, learning differences and mental health disorders, as well as hearing and vision impairments. Although they may be not obvious, they can limit daily activities.
When we are able to put a definition on invisible disabilities, it helps us understand the challenges people experience in their daily lives.
Our trip to the coast was lovely. The weather was pleasant. And enjoying the company of several friends from my Parkinson’s community was sweet.
Just like Tillamook ice cream.