Monday, 28 November 2011

Say WHAT?!

There have been many, MANY, ridiculous statements made about my condition, probably too many to list on one post to be honest.
It seems a bit smug and patronising now that I have a knowledge of Crohn's to shrug these comments off as silly. Why should I judge other people for asking questions or making assumptions I might have made myself over 12months ago?
Because I have it, that's why. Therefore I can say whatever I like about my disease as I'm going through it! The bottom line for me is that I don't have a problem with people asking me about my condition, (to a point obviously) - I'd much rather that than hear you telling ME what IM dealing with, when really you have no idea.
The main example that sticks in my mind and relates to a conversation I overheard, about me, two people were having in a busy room. One of the gossipers was advising the other that, because I have Crohns, I "literally s**t all the time". Lovely. The person on the receiving end of this little nugget of information was aghast with horror. Now bear with me while I break this statement down into it's component parts.. "literally" - I 'literally' s**t all the time. Really? How do I manage to eat? And sleep? And hold down a full time job? Surely I must be surgically attached to the toilet for fear of constant accidents.
"s**t all the time" - again, 'all the time' - how do I manage to get anything done?
Anyway, I came back at this point in the conversation and calmly sat down to a stony embarrassed silence. I explained that, no, I don't..need to use the toilet all the time. I have a disease that affects my bowels and makes it difficult for me to eat and digest foods properly, meaning I sometimes spend longer than your average poo poo bear in the facilities.
My response just garnered confused glances towards one another and of course those obligatory looks of pity. The looks of pity are also a common one when talking of your disease for the first time. I don't want people to feel sorry for me, I have a condition, I'm still the same person, just minus a bit of bowel.
On the other hand because Crohns is an 'invisible disability' it can often be hard to express just how terrible you may feel to someone who sees you outwardly looking no different.
But I will end this post with another one of my favourite comments, regarding another of my health gripes, arthritis. I suffered pain in my knee to the point of struggling to walk for months and kept going back and forward to the doctor to no avail. Painkillers were given and a quick peek at the offending knee (which was seriously swollen) and I was sent hobbling on my way. Eventually, on my 6th visit to the surgery, the doctor, who'd had a quick look at my notes, and my face, (I was 25 at this point) seemed annoyed, as if I was wasting his time, again. He didn't look at my knee, told me it was a sprain, to walk if off and put some frozen peas on it. FROZEN PEAS. A few short weeks later I was diagnosed with arthritis and getting cortisone injected into my knee.
Peas be with you, Doctor x

This post was written as part of NHBPM - 30 health posts in 30 days.