my chronic illness bill of rights


  • to the full range of emotional responses to my experiences—from self-pity to gratitude and everything in between.
  • to seek out information and advice from any source i can find.
  • to follow or disregard any advice or recommendations i receive from strangers, friends and family, fellow sickos, books, or health practitioners.
  • to seek relief or a cure, or not, as i see fit.
  • to healthcare, including face-to-face visits with allopathic and alternative practitioners, prescriptions and supplements, assistive devices, fitness classes, and access to the information i need to make informed decisions about the potential risks and benefits of whatever i pursue.
  • to any accommodations i need in order to have the option of participation in the public life of my community and the larger society.
  • to define my level of availability to others based on how i feel and my assessment of my needs.
  • to make plans and commitments with the understanding that i may be too sick to follow through on them.
  • to address conflicts and disagreements in ways that honor the delicate relationship between stress and my well-being.
  • to not be compared, favorably or unfavorably, with others who share any or all of my diagnoses.
  • not to have to answer the question, “how are you?”
  • to be appreciated for the contributions i make to my communities, even just by my presence.
  • to be valued for who i am, not what i do.
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