Saturday, 25 October 2008
One of the comments left on yesterday’s post got me thinking about my attitude to ‘talking about illness’. Unlike some people who seem happy to chat away about every ailment they have (and even some they don’t have), I very rarely have a conversation about mine.
Yes, it gets mentioned at times because it HAS to get mentioned - I have to explain why I can’t do something or why I do have to do something, and sometimes people are curious and ask about it, but I rarely go in depth and very few people know the true scale of my health problems.
When I originally fell ill and spent several months in a special unit in Manchester, I became quite close to some of the other patients. We were all sharing more or less the same experience, some of us complete newbies to tackling the problems that would unavoidably become part of our lives, some with years of experience who could help and advise the rest of us. They were mostly good people and I enjoyed their company. However, apart from their names being on my Christmas card list, I haven’t kept up contact. Yes, there were promises of visits and the such, and at the time I meant it, but it didn’t happen.
It sounds mean I guess but the one and only reason I didn’t keep up contact with them is because of our shared problems. Yes, there would be a certain degree of support in having them as part of my life but I knew I just wouldn’t be able to handle the inevitable ’illness talk’. For me, it’s enough having to live with these things without having to talk about it too. It’s there, it’s not going away, and no amount of talking about it is going to change that.
I even got to know a lady who lives here in Crewe during my last stint in hospital. I really liked her and under other circumstances would have loved to have met up with her ‘on the outside’ but I didn’t ask her for her number and she didn’t ask for mine. Maybe she feels the same way.
There are already enough reminders of these things in my every day life as it is. The things I can no longer do, the things I have to do that I’d rather not, the pain, the knowledge that your life is in the hands of others… they’re enough without having to be reminded through conversation. I already do what I can to keep everything medical out of eyesight so as not to have it in my face the whole time so I’m sure I don’t need somebody rambling on about it whenever I meet them. And it’d happen, I’m certain of that.
Some would say I’m still in denial, that I should talk about it more and let it become a natural part of my life. Well if that’s they way they would deal with it then that’s great, just don’t expect me to be the same. I’m not in denial, I can assure you I KNOW exactly what’s happened to me, what the consequences are likely to be, and how it effects my daily life. I don’t need to talk about it to understand that. There are zillions of subjects that are far more interesting.
Since starting this blog I’ve been asked several times whether I could post more about what happened to me but I haven’t. I don’t want to. It doesn’t interest me. It gets mentioned when it needs to be, but that’s the extent of it.