Imagine you have a smartphone. It’s battered and bruised, covered in dents and deep scratches so you keep it in a cover so no one can see because you’re ashamed of how broken it is. The battery is faulty. You charge it overnight and on rare occasions you will wake up to 100% battery and a working phone, but other times it can have as little as 15% and you can never know in advance how much it is going to charge. You have to survive the day on barely any battery. You can try to charge it during the day but you can’t use it while it’s on charge.
At other times, you can be using it, just a quick check of emails, and suddenly the battery has dropped from a decent 60% to less than 30% for no reason.
When the battery is low, other faults start showing up. Sometimes the screen goes fuzzy and you have to wait for it to fix itself. Sometimes the apps move around the home screen so you can’t find them. Sometimes the memory thinks it’s full when it isn’t so you can’t do anything that adds new information. There’s lots of glitches and you never know when a glitch is going to appear. Sometimes it freezes for long periods of time with no warning. The tech guys can’t fix it and you can’t just buy a new phone.
Now imagine that phone was your body.
That’s what it’s like to live with a chronic illness.