My parents are hard workers. It doesn't surprise me that I developed a pretty decent work ethic -- what no one could have expected, I suppose, was the twisted, distorted way it affects my life. I can't call out sick without being wracked with guilt -- unless, say, I have a horrible temperature or illness. Being sick involves active problems: coughing, vomiting, pain, etc. It involves being flushed, or pale, or visibly ill. I always feel like an absolute fraud when I tell someone I don't feel well, because I always LOOK bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. If I look well, then I AM well.
I constantly forget -- or will myself to forget -- that I am sick every day of my life.
I'm still learning what that means. While I was trolling the Internet last night, I found this interesting site: http://www.butyoudontlooksick.com
. It's a site by and for people with "invisible illnesses" -- for me, that's my diabetes (now plus a hiatal hernia and lactose intolerance). For many on the site, it's about fibromyalgia, or lupus, or anything that makes someone feel shitty inside but look perfectly fine outside.
The woman who runs the site wrote an essay about the Spoon Theory. I really recommend everyone read it, because I know several people on my f-list with issues, and pretty much everyone knows someone with a condition, whether they know it or not.http://www.butyoudontlooksick.com/navigation/BYDLS-TheSpoonTheory.pdf
In short, the spoon theory discusses the difference between someone who is sick, and someone who is healthy. Healthy people do things without thinking about it -- sick people don't have that luxury. Sick people only have so many "spoons" -- or units of energy, I suppose -- and have to spend them carefully. Every day is a decision about what can get done, and what can't. You can "borrow" spoons against tomorrow, but that makes tomorrow even harder. It's a life of details -- for me, that means knowing my sugar constantly, knowing what foods I can eat at different times of day, testing constantly, adjusting the settings on my pump, remembering to give myself insulin, being on top of how I feel EVERY SECOND because any deviation can mean a dangerously high or low blood sugar.
It means a life of vigilance.
And I'm fucking sick of it.
And I'm tired.