Sunday, 16 September 2012

Diseasey Like Sunday Morning

I'm sick.
Yes, of course I'm 'diseased', but I mean right now at this very moment, I have a bug. A horrid throat infection-chest infection-queasiness causing-dizziness making-headache inducing bug. This is probably something I could shake off  in a matter of hours, but thanks to my horrendously useless immune system it's taking slightly longer than I'd like. Annoying. It has drained me of any energy I had and reduced me to a withered hag with bags for life under her eyes who squints at a glimmer of daylight.
As I said, annoying.
My beloved told me earlier that I'm "whinging" and if I'm going to continue maybe I could "do it in another room" - of course this was a joke, (it WAS a joke..), and although I took it in the manner it was intended, after bashing in his brains in with a frying pan, it got me thinking about how people on the 'outside' of my disease feel.
I've touched on this subject before in my blog, and it's one that I consider quite regularly. I am forced to, mainly due to the fact that living with Crohn's can be so unpredictable that I often have to let down others and cancel plans. Sometimes at the last minute, and sometimes DURING the actual event. This makes me feel crap. Literally and otherwise. I hate letting people down, and no matter how cool about it people are I know its disappointing for them too.
I try to limit the amount I talk about my disease amongst my friends and family. Of course, knowing what they know about me its obvious and wonderful that they will always ask, but I never want to cross the line from concern to pity. I don't want to be the 'sick one' and don't want the focus to always be my illness. My colon gets more than enough attention as it is.
Most of the people with Crohn's I know or 'know' online, have a similar view to mine. They are all so much more than their disease and try to live life to the full. This isn't always easy, as Crohn's gets in the way of a lot from time to time. It can affect you physically and mentally and make it difficult to negotiate new relationships and even maintain current ones. At times I struggle to know how much is too much in talking about my disease. I don't want to bore people or make them feel uncomfortable, but now after living with it for a while i've come to establish who is willing to listen - and often more importantly, who will tell me when to shut up about it.
People who love me want to know I am well, and also want to know when I'm not so they can listen and care for me and offer help where they can (usually through doing both of the aforementioned).  
I don't want people to pussyfoot around me and I certainly don't want anyone to feel pity for me. So I often walk a conversational tightrope, one Crohn's related anecdote too many and I see a friends face glaze over, one too little and I get tangled up in explaining the reason I'm not talking about it ISN'T because I'm actually dying and trying to keep it quiet.
So please, if you know someone with a chronic illness, remember chronic means exactly that - it won't go away. So be patient if that someone wants to tell you how sore or queasy they are (AGAIN), and vice versa, bear in mind the person opposite you might have something equally as crap going on in their life.
Now if you'll excuse me, I have to take my boyfriend to A&E.

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