This piece of artwork is titled “Do You See What I Feel?” by Dana Harrell-Sanders. It is in a collection of art pieces under the titled “But you look so normal”.
I found this artwork interesting because it is meant to be a representation of those who suffer from fibromyalgia. The right side of the photo is how the individual appears to the world, as “normal”. On the left side of the mirror, the individual sees themselves as they feel, chronically fatigued and in pain.
I chose this artwork because we as a society often equate physical pain with it’s visible manifestations. This artwork illustrates how invisible diseases, such as fibromyalgia, are viewed from a societal standpoint and a personal standpoint. It shows human pain, specifically for this piece physical pain, cannot be interpreted just by looking at someone’s outward appearance.
Individuals with disorders that are not as physically apparent may find it is harder to seek health care because providers do not always validate their symptoms because they are not visible or show up in labs. It is important as health care providers to validate what are patients are expressing and do not disregard symptoms just because the individuals appear as “normal” to us.
Question for others: What are ways we can help to validate what are patients are experiencing when they have symptoms that are not outwardly visible?