I have gone through my entire life fighting health problems that made me different from everybody else around me. And don’t get me wrong I would never wish for a different life. After all, if my past was any different I wouldn’t be who I am today and I’ve become rather fond of the person I have become. However, it would have made growing up and accomplishing my dreams so much easier if I wasn’t constantly sick and facing adversity because my body doesn’t always cooperate.
Growing up sick didn’t always have such horrible consequences. I mean who doesn’t love having to miss school and get to stay at home because you physically can’t get your body to stand or move. And I absolutely loved being taken to the doctor’s office and being told I was just looking for attention or the pains I was feeling were just growing pains and would eventually subside. If I told you about the numerous emergency room visits I had that ended in my leaving in tears with a note recommending I see a shrink you would be jealous that you had a different life that I did.
But on a more serious and honest note my mom always did the best she could to make me smile and make me as happy as possible whenever I was sick or in pain. And most importantly no matter what the doctors said she always believed me that my pain was real and that something was going seriously wrong to cause it.
But as hard as I thought growing up and going through my childhood sick was, I could have never imagined much more difficult things would become once I graduated high school. I always thought people were understanding and compassionate and full of empathy, but to my dismay these are skills that quite a few people lack. I can easily name a few of the mistakes and painful comments that have been made to me during my life like they were normal everyday occurrences for everybody.
- Oh you have arthritis, so does my insert name of old as fuck relative here.
- Painful periods really are just a normal part of being a woman you’re just being a baby about it.
- You know I am so tired too, I only stayed up until 2 am this morning. Maybe you should trying getting some more sleep.
- Really you can’t be in that much pain, you’re too young to be that sick or hurt that much.
Honestly, I know some preschoolers who are more understanding and caring than adults in society. I don’t really care about what you think or your opinion on my health or my life, or how I handle and control my chronic health problems. Because to be honest, your opinion does nothing but add more stress to my already stressful life.
I know I am only 23 years old, but most days I feel like I am stuck in the body of a 60 year old. I know I am only 23 years old, but I have been begging my obgyn for a hysterectomy since I was 20 years old. I know I am only 23 years old, but I have had 7 major surgeries. I know I am only in the prime of starting my life, but everyday I wake up worrying that I won’t be able to walk, or my pain will be so high that I won’t be able to move without crying, or that I won’t even have the opportunity to live my life.
I will sit here and tell you what all chronically ill people want you to know. Until you have understood and walked in our shoes keep your opinions and medical knowledge to yourself. It isn’t comforting. It hurts. We aren’t a bunch of lazy bums trying to get out of working and living life. We want to be out there living and partying and pulling our own weight. We are doing the best we can to just survive and not have every thought consumed by terrifying what-ifs.
Next time you see somebody just laying in bed all day, or not being able to go to school or work a full-time job, or using a handicap pass don’t be so quick to judge. Just because somebody looks healthy doesn’t mean they aren’t fighting just to be alive. Looks can be very deceptive. My mom always told me to not judge a book by it’s cover and the older I get and sicker I get the more I realize how true this is.