What is an “invisible disease?” If you have no idea, you’re not alone. That’s the goal of International Red Shoe Day. It’s an awareness day designed to educate people about the invisible diseases that often have no noticeable symptoms at first, which makes them easy to overlook.
So, what is an invisible disease? It’s a disease like chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), fibromyalgia, and Lyme disease that are easily overlooked but can cause severe illness in people. Put on a pair of red shoes on July 25th and better understand these invisible diseases.
Understanding Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Chronic fatigue syndrome, CFS for short, is a health condition with no known cause. Symptoms include extreme fatigue that has no known cause and lasts for over six months. A person with CFS may not have the energy to do anything. Insomnia and chronic pain are other symptoms. It makes it impossible to complete routine chores like housework, daily exercise, or engage in social activities.
If your mom has CFS, you’ll find that in-home care services offer a lot of the support she needs. She has someone to do the housework, complete laundry, cook meals, and run errands for her. She’ll have someone available to take her to doctor’s appointments.
Around four million Americans have fibromyalgia. It’s more common in middle-aged or older adults and affects more women than men. Unexplained pain throughout the body, headaches, difficulty concentrating, fatigue, insomnia, and depression are all signs.
As the pain can make it difficult to function, in-home care is essential. Your mom has someone to help her cook meals, keep the home clean, and move around the home when the pain is extreme.
Understanding Lyme Disease
Lyme disease is caused by the bite of an infected deer tick. You can pick up a tick walking through a field, the woods, or even while gardening in your yard. You may not realize you’ve been bitten, especially if the tick bites a hard-to-reach area like the small of the back or buttocks. If the tick feeds for over 24 hours, Lyme may spread.
If you have Lyme disease, the main symptoms are fever and aches, which are very similar to the flu, so you may not even realize you have something more than the flu. If it goes untreated, it can cause severe joint pain and affect the heart.
Showering after working in a garden or walking in the woods is important. You want to remove the tick before it has a chance to bite. Bug repellant helps keep them away.
Your mom has Lyme disease. Make sure she takes all doses of medications prescribed by her doctor. Medication reminders from an in-home care aide may be necessary to ensure she takes every dose.
In-home care aides provide the help your mom needs to manage her invisible disease. Talk to a home care specialist to learn more about hiring caregivers.