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4 Types of Healthy People You Know If You're Chronically Ill

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Regarding my journey, there are a lot of paths I would love to walk you down. However, I think the first path that really urges me to take you and indeed myself down while writing is the rocky, emotional and sometimes frustrating path of relationships. It’s a path that is riddled with hidden land mines laid unexploded for weeks, days, months, even years, which we as the chronically sick and you as the muggles (as I kindly refer to the healthy ones) have tiptoed around, stumbled on and yes on occasion fell on and … boom!

Now when I say relationships, I don’t just mean our partners for life if we are lucky to have one, but our relationships with parents, siblings, friends, even medical professionals. Believe me, that can be a relationship for good or bad; in fact, my consultant has seen parts of my body more frequently than my husband, even to the extent that I think has he seen that bra before!

I think muggles come into, shall we say, categories. Now I suppose in this sense I just mean just our family, friends, etc. and this is certainly no disrespect to any of my love ones, as I do love them with all my heart, and I can’t push that strongly enough because…
A. I mean it.
B. I know they will be reading this and… boom!

1. The In-Denial Muggle: On the phone this person will ask how I am, when my doctor’s appointments are and how they went. Then she promptly hides it away in the back of her mind when she is with me in person. She knows somewhere back in her mind I’m sick, but acts like I’m OK, like I’m just tired and will be fine after a cup of coffee (that would be tea, but yuck).

In person she will never ask me how I am feeling as this then will make it real. She will say, “Come on, let’s do…” when I’m clearly unable to leave the sofa.

With this reaction I find myself pushing myself, doing more to keep up the pretense that I’ve just got a cold. Then comes my frustration, sadness and anger. I end up shouting, “I’m sick, I’m not getting better” and feeling guilty after for breaking her bubble when she replies, “I know, dear” and… boom! 

2. The Over-Cautious Muggle: My children, mainly my eldest, would have me wrapped in cotton wool on a sofa 24/7. My youngest I suppose is a little more lenient, and usually to my frustration always right. One example is I was visiting family and only had a short few weeks so I wanted to try to do as much as I possibly could and OK, I pushed it too far and my body said, “I have given you warnings, now lay down and stay down!” which yes, resulted in a whole day and half in bed. Now my eldest said: “You’ve done too much again, you won’t listen, you won’t learn, I can’t believe this, I told you and told you,” and I shout back, “But don’t you understand, it was worth it to be a muggle for a day!” and… boom!

3. The When-It’s-Convenient-for-Them Muggle: Now this is, in my case, a friend, one who again I love with my heart, and one who I know doesn’t even realize they are doing it. They are the friend who listens, understands what you’re saying, and has cosy movie nights with you. Until the event — this could be a shopping trip a night out we have planned together — this is when I find myself in a corner alone, feeling tired and upset that I can’t party, too, feeling sick and needing to go home, and frustrated that the friend has gone dancing without a care in the world has totally forgotten the fact I can’t do this any more. Next comes my anger and wanting to scream, “One night, one night you could have sat with me.” This, however, soon leads to guilt for not wanting her to be carefree for a night… and… boom!

There are lots of scenarios I could tell you about, but sometimes you’re lucky to have…

4. The Other Muggles: In my case three (well four, including my husband who tries his very best). There is one muggle I have known for such a short time but understands, listens, and has been there every step encouraging me. There is one who has been there a little longer and is a non-muggle and is chronically amazing. She has been through so much but yet has the time to listen to my illness stories. And there is one who has been there forever and reads every post on my page I think, because she quotes them, bless her.

And this, ladies and gents, was just a little short walk down one of many winding bumpy paths I have found on my continuing onward journey.

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Lead photo by Thinkstock Images.

Originally published: November 16, 2016
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