The Video I’ve Debated Posting: Chronic Illness & Losing Your Friends

Wow. I managed to capture the seven minutes worth of the most pathetic moments of my entire life on camera. This was like watching a pelican trying to swallow several crows and then almost choking to death on them. Or like someone with a chronic illness realizing that their world has become incredibly small and lonely. Watch at your own risk.


This has probably been the most heavily debated content I’ve decided to share on this blog. Which is saying something, because I have a bowel disorder, so I’d say we’re pretty close at this point in the game.

This was a moment of…absolute desperation? Sadness? Realization?

I don’t know. But it was definitely a moment. And I cringed at the thought of my family and basically anyone who did not also have a chronic illness watching it. But after sharing it with a few other patients I decided that the need for other patients to know they’re not alone in the trenches was maybe more important than my personal dignity.

Personal dignity is overrated.

Photo on 2-24-17 at 3.32 PM #2



  • Ginger

    Thank you for sharing this video, I feel the same way a lot of the time and I really appreciate you talking about this part of being chronically ill.

    I miss having friends – not internet friends, or my mom, but people to hang out with. I had a string of “good days” in the fall and tried to spend more time with my old work friends, it wasn’t what I expected. I thought everyone would be impressed with how hard I had worked in PT, how much my stamina had improved, that I could walk a block without sitting down. They were still frustrated that I couldn’t go places with stairs and didn’t want to invite me to things because it was “too complicated”.

    I feel you. I wish you were closer to you, Ilana, I’d go to Starbucks with you in a heartbeat. If our migraines lined up right.

    • Linda


      I thought that I was the only one that lost friends. They don’t want to deal with someone that has to cancel or can’t go out to dinner.
      Do mind if I ask if you live in Massachusetts? I live close to Boston. Just checking because it would be nice to meet someone else that is in the same situation – and have a friend : )

      Hang in there – it gets easier. I’ve been sick for 5 years and got sick at 43 years old.

      Take care,


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  • Dee

    I watched you articulate the thoughts that run through my head on a daily basis. It’s not only what our limitations are within our bodies, how they impact our own lives within our homes, but also how that plays out with our friends on the “outside”. Cancelling sucks; disappointing ourselves and others is even worse. And the realization that our world has become so very small creates heartache and hopelessness on the worse days.
    The dynamics of every relationship shifts. And, our friends are the last hope of an area, we pray, that won’t feel the shift. It hurts.
    I am thankful for the web that allows us to reach out to those who share our pains and joys. We are blessed by this. I know, for those older than us, the isolation must have been terrible. Or, maybe they weren’t so isolated; now that I think if it. More communities were connected with face to face interactions. Relationships then, and the mindset of those in them, were stronger and weren’t such a fleeting, disposable commodity; maybe the people valued each other more.
    There are many issues to ponder on this subject. Thanks so much for being brave enough to post your video. You are courageous and honest. I look forward to reading your blog.