She's a character, she has opinions.

Am I violating your social contract by being chronically ill?

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Andrea at It’s Time to Get Over How Fragile You Are quotes her friend Kimberley on how people view the chronically ill: “People know that with cancer or aids, people either die or they are okay. Either way, they don’t have to deal with that person’s illness anymore.  With us, it’s not going to kill us. But we have it forever”.  

That’s it, you know? That’s what it is. When people are sick they are supposed to either get better or die. You are allowed to take time to get better or you are allowed to take time to die, but what happens when you do neither? Is there much in our society that allows for the chronically ill who need to take time, time, and more time, yet never get better and never die?

I can see it around me. It’s in every “I hope you get better soon,” which means well but doesn’t account for the fact that I won’t get better, not soon and likely not ever. It’s in every accomodation that’s made for me that has a subtext of when can we stop doing this. It’s there every single time someone asks me what I can do to make myself better or more able to function.

I’m chronically ill. I don’t think I’m going too far in saying it’s worse for me than it is for those of you interacting with me. You may be losing patience or at a loss for what to do because I’m not getting better but I’m not dying, but think of how I’m feeling. If you don’t have a blueprint for dealing with someone chronically ill then why on earth would you think I have a one for dealing with being that way?


Written by tldegray

November 15, 2010 at 12:00 pm

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