22 Common Scenarios People With Chronic Illnesses Have Been In


So many scenarios arise where I think, “You know you have a chronic illness when this happens.” I decided to compile a list of some of the most common situations I associate with being chronically ill that I feel other people may relate to.

You know you have a chronic illness when…

  1. Your medical equipment/supplies are decorated for the holidays.
  2. You’re on a first name basis with many of the medical staff, including: paramedics, nurses, doctors, receptionists in the hospital, cafeteria workers, people who work in the gift shops, pharmacy workers etc.
  3. When you go to A&E/the ER you no longer need to say your name at reception anymore. As soon as you walk up they recognize you and clock you in.
  4. You have a “just in case” bag packed, just in case you spontaneously land up in the hospital.
  5. When you find empty tablet strips/bottles everywhere.
  6. Whenever someone sees an ambulance going in the direction of your home they question whether it’s for you.
  7. You are on so much medication that you’ve questioned starting your own pharmacy.
  8. You cannot travel light because you have to carry so much with you.
  9. You’ve peed in a cup so many times that you could do it with the lights off/your eyes shut and not spill a single drop.
  10. Your pharmacy doesn’t need to ask for your: name, date of birth and address anymore, they instead ask how you’re getting on.
  11. You can pronounce and spell very complicated medical terms/medication names that even some of the medical staff struggle with.
  12. You can give medical staff advice on the best places to get blood from you/insert an IV line.
  13. When someone contacts you, they ask if you’ve been in the hospital recently.
  14. You watch medical dramas and you can tell if the medical terms are being used incorrectly or the procedures performed wrongly.
  15. You know the price of things such as: X-rays, MRI scans, CT scans, blood tests, a bag of fluid etc.
  16. You always ensure you’ve got your emergency medication/medical kit with you alongside everything else when you leave your house.
  17. You have to pass up the chance of having really cute, small handbags because you know they just won’t be big enough to keep all your medical supplies in.
  18. You have to arrange your bedroom with the consideration that paramedics may require entry into it at some point.
  19. You try to keep your house constantly in the way you’d like to present it to people in case medical staff have to spontaneously come over.
  20. Paramedics are called out to you and you’ve not had an ambulance callout in a while and they say to you, “Oh we’ve not seen you in a while!”
  21. You name all of your medical equipment/supplies.
  22. You always consider in the back of your mind when you go out where the nearest hospital is, how you’ll get to the hospital if need be and who will help you get there.

Getty Image by Punnarong


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