There are certain things I have been told or asked over the years in regards to my
Crohn's Disease and other chronic illnesses. I've compiled a list of them for you with the responses I really wish I could say, but I don't say. Why don't I respond this way, you ask?
Because unlike the people who say or ask these things, I'm not a giant douche.
So please, whatever you do, learn from them.
DON'T SAY THIS SHIT TO PEOPLE WITH CHRONIC ILLNESSES!
"My, fill in the blank, hurts too."
Or "I'm really tired too.
I know how you feel."
While I am not discrediting your pain and tiredness, you do not know how I feel. I have Fibromyalgia and that means that my body processes pain differently than yours. I feel pain more intensely and for a longer period of time than someone without Fibromyalgia. My pain can be debilitating. I also have fatigue that is more than just being tired. Sleep does not help it, even if I could sleep. I'm in too much pain to get comfortable. My whole body fights against itself in a circle of symptoms that never, ever stop. But I'm sorry you are tired and sore. Have you tried kale?
"I have a 'bad stomach' too." Or "I think there is a stomach bug going around."
Uh, okay. May be, however I have a couple chronic illnesses that are the reason I have intestinal issues. Crohn's Disease ain't your average 'bad stomach.' It's an actual real, lifelong chronic ailment that's treated with major drugs like biologics, immunosuppressants, and steroids. It in no way, shape, or form can be compared to things like 'spastic colon' or IBS. But, now that you mention it, I have IBS too. Can you imagine trying to figure out why you are having horrible pain and diarrhea, cramping, bloating, and nausea too? Could it be the Crohn's flaring? Is it the IBS? Maybe it IS actually a stomach bug. Or maybe I have food poisoning from that kale I tried to eat. But hey, you have a 'bad stomach' too, right. You totally get it.
"Get well soon." Or "I hope you feel better."
Thanks, but I can't. Not now, not ever. Chronic illness remember? Not going away. Not getting better. Think about what you are saying, dumbass.
"Have you tried... kale, juice fasting, essential oils, reiki, vegan, gluten free, dairy free, sugar free, keto, meditation, prayer, aloe vera juice, thinking positive, a cleanse, Dr. Ho's online tincture that cured my cousin's mailman's brother's herpes? Etc..."
No. I don't want to try your weird diet or any of that other shit because contrary to popular belief, it will NOT cure me. There is NO CURE for any of the illnesses I have. Trust me, I looked into it at least once or twice. If there were a cure, I wouldn't still be sick. Besides I don't think that kale is going to regrow the intestines I had to have removed. But, wait...maybe that juice fast could. Hmmm. Nah.
"I don't know how you deal with having diarrhea all the time. I would just die! I had that once and had to take a week off work." And then, "I hate public bathrooms." And also, "You have to go again? But you just went."
Yes, clearly if you had Crohn's Disease, you would die. You are obviously not as strong as I am. By the way, I deal with this because I don't have a choice about it. Also, I am a badass chronic illness warrior and you are not. Please note, I'm using this public bathroom because even though it may be disgusting, it's a lot better than shitting my pants. And yes, I have to go again. Thanks for keeping track for me. Now, mind your business and go eat your kale, Princess.
"You can't just sit there all day." Usually followed up by, "You are just depressed." And then, "You just need to get out more."
Here's the thing - Yes, I am depressed. My sitting here for ten minutes, or four hours, or all day however, isn't going to change that. And also yes, I can just sit here because I am tired. I was in the bathroom having diarrhea all night, I have insomnia and haven't slept for six nights straight, my body hurts and I'm fucking exhausted honestly. I need a time out from life. So I am going to just sit here. And no, I don't want to go out because right now, simply breathing is exhausting! If you are that concerned about me, have you ever thought of asking what you can do to help me?
"You were fine yesterday."
Well, sometimes chronic illness is like that. One day I'm fine, but the next I'm not. You just have to ride the wave. Can you imagine your body being so unreliable? No, no I bet you can't.
"At least you don't have cancer."
Here we go. Just because "at least I don't have cancer" is true, it doesn't mean what I do have isn't painful, scary, physically and emotionally damaging, financially devastating, or worth any less of a concern than if it was cancer - or any other life altering disease for that matter.
Besides, I have known people with cancer who have had less of a fight, never needed chemotheraphy and have been cured with surgery. This doesn't happen with chronic illness. But then again, it's not a competition, is it? Please take this opportunity to fuck all the way off now.
"If you would just exercise more. Have you tried yoga?"
Really? So running to the bathroom 12 or more times a day isn't enough exercise? Good to know. Look, I am doing the best I can. And honestly, some chronic illnesses make exercising dangerous and can actually cause the symptoms to get worse. Case in point, I have tried yoga. Sometimes I do feel a little better afterwards. Other times it makes things much worse. Good luck rolling the dice to figure out what's gonna happen when I do that downward dog pose.
"You sound really negative, you should think more positively."
Gee, okay. Done! Wow, I feel so much better. I don't even want to tell you to fuck off now. Amazing!