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9 Relatable Comics That Nail What It's Like To Have Chronic Illness
Monday 1 July 2019
9 Relatable Comics That Nail What It's Like to Have Chronic Illness
Getting sick is no laughing matter, but it often takes humor to be able to get through the ups and downs of chronic illness. While some of these comics make us laugh out loud in pained affirmation, mostly they raise awareness of chronic illness, and shed light on what it is like to live with a vast array of symptoms and severe pain.
If you have a chronic illness, you know that struggle is part of the journey. From not having a diagnosis, to not knowing what your diagnosis means, to becoming intimately aware of what it’s like to be chronically ill, these artists have nailed every step of the journey.
If you’re struggling with a chronic illness, these comics may help you feel like you’re less alone in your journey. Plus, they can be a great way to raise awareness and show your family and friends what your daily struggle is like.
Read on to see how these illustrators made art imitate life in these nine comics about chronic illness:
1. ‘The M.E. Adventures’ by Laura Chamberlain
Chronic fatigue plagues many in the chronic illness community. Friends and family may wonder why the chronically afflicted are always so “tired.” Laura Chamberlain’s comic, “The M.E. Adventures,” points out that those with myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), formerly known as chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), are not simply tired, they are chronically fatigued – and there’s a difference.
Chamberlain’s side-by-side tale of a girl with ME named Maddie, and a “normal” girl named Nancy, communicates how fatigue impacts Maddie’s day. Maddie’s day is compared and contrasted with her friend Nancy’s. Nancy, like any healthy girl, gets tired at the end of the day and goes to sleep. Contrast that with Maddie, whose ME is evident after her single meeting with her friend, Nancy.
In the end Nancy is able to get on with the rest of her day’s tasks, while Maddie experiences something called post-exertional malaise (PEM). After exerting themselves, those with ME can experience PEM. PEM is a worsening of symptoms that kicks in 24-48 hours after exertion, and can last for days, weeks, or even trigger a relapse.
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