All the CIU stories are in! Submissions are now complete!

People’s experiences with CIU (chronic idiopathic urticaria) have left them itching for a voice, and wanting to draw attention to CIU!
It’s been really exciting to see the CIU community rise to the occasion and share their hearts out. Some of their stories have been illustrated by a real artist!
Check out their stories below, and the illustrated ones in the Sketch Gallery, give hearts and share the ones you like!
There will be a full recap of the Sketch an Itch experience as of December 14th on itchingforanwers.ca – check the site out now!

The Latest Itchy Stories

Read’em & Share’em

Carmen, British Columbia
Dec 15th

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Jill, British Columbia
Nov 24th

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CIU is like being constantly taunted by your body. You never know when the next attack is going to come on, and you’re always bracing yourself for it. The skin you once felt comfortable in is now covered in itchy wheals and scars from previous outbreaks. The hives keep you up all night and you’re always tired. You lay awake, staring at the clock, counting down the hours until you have to get up. With each passing minute your frustration grows. Getting up in the morning becomes a struggle, yet falling asleep at night is impossible. You’re a living, breathing paradox. And you feel trapped. But you learn how to persevere. You learn how to fight through the bad and keep going. And as you learn how to treat and manage your illness you look back and realize that despite everything, despite all the challenges, you are strong. And nothing can take that victory from you.

Eden, Ontario
Nov 24th

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Heidi, Nova Scotia
Nov 17th

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Real, Quebec
Nov 10th

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Luke, Ontario
Oct 30th

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Elaine, Québec
Oct 30th

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“Living with the ongoing physical impact of an autoimmune disease is difficult, but the stigma associated with it makes everything even harder. I have suffered from chronic idiopathic urticaria (CIU) since the age of six. I spend significant time worrying about many of the unpredictable effects of my condition. Will I need to visit the hospital today because of severe swelling impeding my ability to breathe? Maybe. Will I be well enough to return to university? I hope so. Outside of the physical aspects of CIU, my emotional health has been impacted too. I have suffered from anxiety since elementary school. I was often teased about my skin and questioned about being contagious. Even after explaining what CIU was, the teasing didn't stop. I ended up developing an eating disorder which caused damage to my body. While CIU is a constant challenge to manage, it has made me a strong and determined 19 year old. I found that speaking up about this little known autoimmune disease, to bring awareness and understanding, can only breed positive results for myself and other CIU patients. To keep a dialogue open between myself and other Canadians managing CIU, I frequently turn to social media groups for support.”

Kayla, Nova Scotia
Oct 30th

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