Before I begin this post I want to make it clear that I can recognize and appreciate the sensitive nature of the word discrimination and in no way do I equate my circumstances with anyone dealing with this on a day to day. I acknowledge my privilege of being an able bodied, white, straight, middle class female who is not part of any visible minority. I can also understand the timing of this post in light of recent world events and again, do not equate my situation to the severity of a larger discriminated population. But I think it’s important to talk about this sort of incident and reflect on it, learn from it, and start a greater dialogue. So please, bare with me, with an open mind, and stay tuned for Part 2 of this post.
” I don’t know how you deal with this.”
“I complain so much and this is what you’re dealing with.”
“You’re so strong.”
“I can’t imagine going through what you have.”
These are some of the all the very kind words I hear from friends, family members, nurses or strangers. And although they are nice to hear and I am forever appreciative, I must stop them and remind them that we are all human, and we all have our own shit to deal with.
I quickly learned the importance of a good support system. At first I really struggled with the idea of inconveniencing others. I know that at a staff meeting my boss doesn’t mind ordering me a different meal because I can’t eat pizza. But I minded asking. My best friend understands when I say I can’t go to the Junos with her. But I cringed at the thought of breaking the news. My Dad enjoys watching the basketball game on a tiny old TV in the hospital because he’s with me. But I know a big screen and recliner are nicer. And my mom is okay when I charge the hospital Wi-Fi to her visa… Well I was actually okay with that too. But one of the biggest things I learned was to give people more credit. This is what they are here for. If your friends and family cant bring you bags of 2-ply toilet paper then who else can? I don’t know if there is any other disease that is more vulnerable than Crohn’s or Colitis but when your support system says they don’t mind helping you in some way, believe them. Be selfish.