My Chronic Illness Made Me Feel Like A Burden Until I Finally Got Help

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After we first got married, my husband began keeping me company on the drive to pick up medications for my chronic illnesses. During these trips, it was hard for him to miss my shaking hands and tears.

“Honey, you okay?” He’d ask.

“Yeah… I’m just sorry that we had to go to the pharmacy today.”

“Why?”

Why? I didn’t fully understand myself.

As a child of immigrants who came to America with very little, I was constantly shamed for being sick and for the copays my family was billed for my appointments and medication. In my parents’ world, sickness wasn’t an option; it meant that you were weak or doing something wrong. If your legs still let you walk and your arms could move, then you were fine and it was time to go to work. For my parents, the cultural effects of growing up in European…

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