You might have a chronic illness if …

*I refresh this list as they come to me*

Sometimes you wanna go where everybody know your name and they’re always glad you came but you wish it wasn’t your doctor’s office.

You watch House and discover more probable ideas than your real life doctors have come up with.

You see your doctors more than your family members.

You and the pharmacist are on a first name basis.

You have a medication and doctor for each of your symptoms and for each side effect caused by the treatments and medications. Repeat. Repeat.

You know exactly how long it takes for your medication to take effect.

When people say, “Hi. How are you?” you no longer instinctively answer “Fine.”

You bring printed answers to new doctor’s offices and write ‘See attached’ under medications, diagnosis, surgeries …

Walgreens is your favorite store.

You get really excited upon finding a new Morton’s Epsom Salt LOTION.

The ‘Know It All’

Today my housemate’s Mom told her that she had a vision about me. She said she knows what’s wrong with me.

Apparently, my tattoos are causing my autoimmune issues. She looked it up on the internet, clearly the most reliable of sources. Everybody knows that everything on the internet is true! (sarcasm) I get that people without tattoos do not understand people with tattoos sometimes, but guess what? I don’t care if you understand and I don’t care if you approve. I can assuredly guarantee that I will not be concerning myself as to why she doesn’t have any. Normally, this would not bother me at all. My grandmother doesn’t like my tattoos. Fine by me.

But this is why I’m so irritated:

1. She’s bat shit crazy. That’s fine by me, but get some therapy or take some meds to help with the chemical imbalance so that you don’t keep spreading crazy around. This is the whole reason why her daughter and granddaughter are living with me.

2. She hates tattoos. She thinks they’re trashy.

3. I have 4 tattoos. All after the medical issues began. They have really been symbolic to my journey and have helped me heal a great deal of emotional wounds.
One specifically is my self harm insurance policy. It’s next to a scar. It reminds why I will never need to do it again.

And about a week ago there was a whole other incident in which she revealed her wicked witch persona and accidentally made an ass of herself in front of myself, my husband and children. Then she made the mistake of trying to excuse her behavior by blaming my friend and when I politely pointed out the flaws in her argument, she decided to attack me personally and since she didn’t have anything to point out that I had done to her, she’s now trying to make a character flaw out of my uncontrollable medical circumstances and then also decided to blame my tattoos because that too is something she deems as a character flaw.

This woman irritates the piss out of me because she is downright emotionally abusive to my friend that is living with us. In fact, she’s the reason why she’s living with us. The emotional and verbal abuse was so bad that it was toxic to my friend and her daughter and when she realized that I had offered to take her in, she evicted her own daughter and granddaughter a week before Christmas.

Clearly, I am the bad guy here.

Healthy People vs. Chronically Ill People

Healthy People: I hate my body!
Spoonies: My body hates me!
Healthy People: I hate my job!
Spoonies: I wish I could work!
Healthy People: I stayed out too late; I’m so tired today!
Spoonies: I washed my hair today; I’m too exhausted to do anything else!
Healthy People: Why are you depressed?
Spoonies: There’s no “trigger” for depression; it’s not just sadness. Depression happens because the chemicals in my head are screwy!
Healthy People: Why don’t you ever want to do anything?
Spoonies: You have no idea how much I WANT to do stuff, I just CAN’T sometimes.
Healthy People: I wish I could stay in bed all day!
Spoonies: I wish I could get out of bed today!
Healthy People: Want to go see that new movie at the theater?
Spoonies: *thought process* well, there are 4 stairs to leave the house, 28 steps to the car, the car ride will probably aggravate my headache, more steps and more stairs once we get to the theater, two hours in an uncomfortable chair and $15 to watch a movie I’m probably not going to remember, anxiety from being around so many people, car ride home, getting back into the house…and I have maybe 2 spoons left today. How important is this person to me? Can I push through? Will (s)he mind if we just stay in and catch an older movie on TV?
Healthy People: If you were more active/ate better/lost weight/etc., maybe you would feel better
Spoonies: I’m doing everything within my power to feel better. Sometimes being active is impossible, what I eat is dependent upon what my body can digest, and weight loss is difficult when the first two are beyond my control.
Healthy People: I just read that this new diet/supplement/medication/alternative therapy/yoga pose/etc. can help people with your condition.
Spoonies: If there is something that has shown promise in my medical community, there are people who have tried it. I have likely tried it. I know you just want to help me feel better but you’re making it seem as though there’s some “magic cure” out there and I’m just not trying hard enough.
Healthy People: What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger/God won’t give you more than you can handle/Positive thinking/the power of prayer/any other cliche saying
Spoonies: Sometimes, what doesn’t kill you makes you beg for death. Also, please don’t quote scripture or talk to me about God and prayer if you aren’t familiar with my religious beliefs. Not only might that be offensive to me but, also, this has seemed like more than I can handle for way too long.
Healthy People: Check out the new bag I bought!
Spoonies: *thought process* would all my meds fit in that?
Healthy People: How does my butt look in these jeans?
Spoonies: Oh, crap! Did I put on shoes today?
Healthy People: Doctor, what’s wrong with me?
Spoonies: When we left last time, we were talking about this symptom I’ve been having. I did some research, I think it might be…… (and they’re usually right!)