Nearly 1 in 2 Americans (133 million) has a chronic condition.
By 2020, about 157 million Americans will be afflicted by chronic illnesses, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
That number is projected to increase by more than one percent per year by 2030, resulting in an estimated chronically ill population of 171 million.
Sixty percent are between the ages of 18 and 64
90% of seniors have at least one chronic disease and 77% have two or more chronic diseases
In the United States 4 in 5 health care dollars (78%) are spent on behalf of people with chronic conditions. The Growing Burden of Chronic Disease in American, Public Health Reports, May June 2004 Volume 119 Gerard Anderson, PhD
Source: Chronic Care in America: A 21st Century Challenge, a study of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation & Partnership for Solutions: Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (September 2004 Update). “Chronic Conditions: Making the Case for Ongoing Care”.
Friday, August 12, 2011
Invisible Illness blog post—August 12, 2011
What is an invisible illness?
If you don’t see a cane, wheelchair, walker of some other form of assistance, then there may be an invisible illness lurking beneath that beautiful smile and cheery voice. People with chronic illness and pain can be masters at disguising their true emotional and physical status.
At home I feel free to grimace and groan as I cope with pain, but in public, I do my best to appear “normal.” I want to be normal. I want you to think I’m normal. I also want you to think I’m coping well and accept my limitations and restrictions on activities with an air of grace.
The truth is, I struggle with this every day.
I suffer from the mental malady of the “used-tos.” I used to be able to walk a long way, ride my bike as long as I’d like, take my adorable grandsons on outings. Activities that I used to take for granted are now off limits. Places that I used to go—like Honduras and Guatemala on mission trips—now seem to be out of my reach. I used to hike in the woods, just me and my dog Panda, enjoying nature together. I used to spend hours weeding in the garden and now my neurologist informs me that this is just as strenuous an activity as playing football. This may sound like an exaggeration, but I know he is telling me, that, for me, weeding is a danger to the precarious condition of my spine.
The truth is, I an envious of other people who are able to do these things.
The truth is, even though I go to God and depend on him in the midst of my pain, sometimes I am mad at him.