Sunday, 22 January 2012

Not Your Stepping Crohn

Do you want to know what I hate? And I do it too, daily i'd say. I'm talking, of course, about lying. Telling porkies, fibbing, whatever you want to call it. It all amounts to the same thing.
I lie most days about my illness. I say 'I'm fine' or that I'm 'feeling much better' and even 'I'm great!' - when most days these replies couldn't be further from the truth. I have no idea why I do this. Perhaps to spare myself (and others) from going on endlessly about my various health woes, or to avoid having to focus on the negative and pretend my fibs are actually true?
Lying is something everyone is guilty of. As my favourite (not-real) doctor, Gregory House once said, "Everybody Lies". And he's a doctor so he should know. People lie everyday, little ones, big ones, some lie about having big ones when they have little ones.. Its the circle of lies.
Lying is a trait learned from a very young age. As a child baby learns if he cries Mum will come and give him the attention he craves, cuddle him or feed him. And thus the little liar gets his Rusk. Probably wasn't even hungry. Liar. People in adult-hood tell these lies for many reasons - it could be a 'little white lie' to spare someone's feelings; ("Of course you look gorgeous in that pink velour tracksuit darling! It brings out your eyes"), or for more sinister reasons; ("I have absolutely no idea where my wife is or how this bloodied knife ended up in my hand, Officer").
I've often lied to doctors and nurses about how I'm feeling - I don't want to complain or be seen to be a nuisance. Incredibly daft. They NEED to know how I am in order to be remotely able to make me feel better. Who does that lie I'm telling help? Not the doctor, and certainly not me. Crohn's is an incredibly tricky disease to pin down. It took years to establish what was wrong with me. It's also a challenge to treat, finding the right treatment can be a minefield. That's why it is so important to be honest with everyone from the word go. Get into detail with the doctors, don't be embarrassed, explain as best you can exactly how you feel, what affect it is having on you and don't leave anything out. It doesn't make you sound like a hypochondriac (unless of course you were fibbing about being ill in the first place) - it makes it 10 times easier for them to build up a profile of what's causing you the problem.
Lying is bad for you. Pinnochio learns this gem the hard way. My hooter is substantial enough as it is - can you IMAGINE if that fairy tale were actually true? I'd require a shopping trolley to transport my beak around with me. "Liar Liar Pants on Fire" is another childhood favourite, indoctrination into why lying is bad from a young age sprinkled with mild bullying. Having been brought up a Catholic, its deeply ingrained in me that I feel I should do 10 Hail Mary's every-time I say i've taken the bin out when truthfully i've forgotten (again).
The bottom line, and with Crohn's there's always a bottom-line, is that you want to get better, yes? So start by telling the truth. Don't hold back and let the people in the know help you. As for fibbing to my family and friends about my illness, I'm still trying to get better at that myself. Not an excuse of course, I know the areas I need to work on and i'll start by repeating my Hail Mary's after this is typed up. Would I lie to you?


  1. Thats is a fine bit of writing and the telling the truth to the doctors is back on.It is sometimes hard for Crohnies to open up to doctors, let alone anybody else.

  2. Kathleen, i enjoy reading your blogs...they make me laugh & cry....xxxxxx

  3. Thank-you! (unless you are both fibbing then shame on you!) It's very hard to open up but like most things the more you do it the easier it gets :)
    Hope you are both well x x