my chronic illness bill of rights
I HAVE THE RIGHT…
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.