Monday, 29 February 2016

Good Crohn Fun


Seems so obvious doesn't it? You've already switched off by now haven't you? Like, 'She's lost her touch, I thought she was funny batting out bowel puns but this is just dull...' Well WOAH THERE HORSEY. My truth bomb may not have been earth shattering, but it packs a punch, bear with your best gal while she explains.

There are a lot of people on Earth, (many of them from Scotland as that's where my expertise lies), who seem to think there is some hidden bonus to being ill. In particular chronic and incurable illnesses. These people, in my experience, are generally hypochondriacs themselves, who find delight in complaining about their various imagined woes. In the realm of health obsessives these people are the WebMD of diagnosis. They've blown their nose twice in the last 24hrs so OBVIOUSLY they have a rare and deadly form of nasal cancer. It couldn't just be a cold. How foolish! 

Do not underestimate the way the mind of a hypochondriac works. They will study you. As a patient of an existing chronic illness you are after all a walking textbook. You are on hand at all times to answer and questions they may have that will serve to bulk up an existing story they've worked hard to perfect overnight. 

Of course hypochondriacs are a nuisance and a frustrating fact of life. Because they are so caught up on what may or may not be wrong with them they are missing out on whats actually going on around them. Their real life. 

My first reaction upon encountering a hypochondriac in the wild, was to get competitive. PROVE to me you are sick. You are not, and will never be sicker than me. Do not test me. Anger then bubbling irritation. How dare they try and better me with tales of illness. I'M the sick one at this party mate. Like Highlander, there can be only one. But anger quickly turns to boredom and pity - if there is such stock put in creating imaginary problems for yourself what's missing from your life? Where's the gap you need to fill? Show me on the doll where he hurt you. 

But let me come back to my original point. Being sick is no fun. It's often a full time job. There is no relief from chronic illness even when you are physically well. It's in our every waking thought because it's utterly all consuming. It has to be factored into every decision we make; it's exhausting and infuriating and often embarrassing.
So when you are laughing along with me and saying you'd LOVE the extra breaks I get, bear in mind I'm spending that time trying to expel undigested food through a diseased intestine. (Think rubbing salt into a paper cut, but with internal organs). Or maybe I'm vomiting, or practicing breathing exercises so I don't have a panic attack or pass out. Maybe when you tell me you'd love to have extra time for appointments bear in mind I'm going to leave work to be injected with drugs which will make me feel I've gone 3467477 rounds with Rocky Balboa. [80's Rocky obvs, I could probably take modern day Sly]. 
I might be going to pierced with yet another needle or given more bad news. I'll have to return to work with that news in my head and try not to cry/bleed and hibernate for the rest of the day/my life. 

Any of that sound fun yet? 

Belittling chronic illness is rude and offensive. Implying we are winning some imaginary lotto due to an extra toilet break here or there makes you look like the Worlds Biggest Tool 2016. Living with an incurable condition is exhausting, debilitating and a daily struggle. We don't need to waste precious energy arguing with you over what that second sneeze of the day means. 

Besides we all know it means imminent death. Sorry about that. 

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