Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Crohn Out of All Proportion

This is a blog aimed at a particular branch of the 'sickly' tree. It's a bit of a nuisance that it's necessary but it's been a hot topic in my life of late so I felt the need to vent. 
Everywhere I look lately people are 'inventing' illnesses. They profess to have horrific and life threatening conditions in order to achieve some unknown goal. To garner attention? Gain sympathy they feel they require? I'm not sure. Whatever the reason, it's incredibly stupid and damaging to those of us who suffer from chronic and/or life threatening illnesses in 'real life'.

I in particular have tried to take the higher ground when hearing these hypochondriacs imagined tales of woe. I've gently sympathised, albeit through gritted teeth, as who am I to know they aren't genuinely unwell? I'd certainly never wish to be accused of jumping to conclusions on what may or may not be wrong with someone as it's something I've experienced on my own rocky road to diagnosis, and it's distressing and frustrating in equal measure to be on the end of someone's suspicion. 

Personally, for someone who has always preferred to fade into the background (apart from my brief hiatus at art school when I dressed like a 1970's hippy), I found the sudden flush of unrelenting attention when I was hospitalised very comfortable. I didn't know what to say to visitors, most of whom were the people I love most in the world. I didn't understand why we couldn't just chat like we did at home, why did they look ashen with worry? I was FINE! They looked ashen with worry because I wasn't fine. 
I was dying. Right in front of their eyes and they were absolutely helpless to do anything but chat about the weather and bring me magazines. 
I didn't like being thrust into this sickly limelight. It made me angry, but I wasn't angry with their attention i was grateful for it, I was angry at my situation and that it was MY illness which was breaking their hearts.

So, I do understand how it feels to have this massive influx of love and Marie Claire's all at once given, then gradually phased back to a more manageable level. When you start to get a little better you go back to being a 'normal' person again and fade back into the crowd. It can be unsettling. It can seem as though you want to stamp your feet like a toddler and shout "I'm still sick!!" But there's no need. The people who care for you know that. They are always there, they just don't need to treat you like an invalid as much now and that's good. It's great. 
For those lacking in love and affection in their own lives I suppose faking an illness could be considered a logical way to grasp some of that attention you crave. But where do you go with that? If you start lying it can be incredibly difficult to stop. And how elaborate do you make those lies? Just like heroin and Nutella addiction, lies can spiral out of control and wreak havoc on your life and everyone in it. So just stop. Aim higher. Try to have the best life possible because you are well enough to do so. Don't wish illness on yourself because you will waste away through resentment and frustration. Focus on what's good in your life and work on that. Like Nutella. Just in moderation. 


  1. I've just discovered your blog! It's wonderful, you're a great writer and I really appreciate your humorous and realistic attitude to Crohn's. I wish i'd stumbled across it when I was pining for information after being diagnosed. I think it would have put things into perspective.
    Rose x

  2. Hi Rose! Thanks so much, what lovely comments! thanks for reading and I hope you are keeping as well as can be! K x x