“She doesn’t talk about it”

I kept my family and my health problems separate for quite a while until it was impossible to hide.  Even after, I only passed on the information that I was being seen by doctors and we were “working on it”.

Last year they knew I had been in the hospital several times, but I told them I was fine.  I seem to be taking on the same attitude as doctors.  It’s not life threatening, so I’m fine.  April of last year I was in the hospital for two weeks, and by the end of the first week my parents decided to drive down.  It was then they learned about my kidney disease over a year after my initial diagnosis.  As far as they knew, I had Crohn’s disease and that was it.  By the time they left, they knew everything, to include my neurological problems.  Too many questions, too many check-ins.  I get sick of talking about it, mostly because they think I should be better by now.  No matter how many times I explain how my illnesses and the health care system works, we dance around in the same irritating circle over and over again.

I’ve had 4 diagnoses since then; POTS, osteoporosis, Autoimmune Hepatitis, and a seizure disorder.  I didn’t tell them about any of them because I didn’t think they needed to know.  When Manchild dropped me off, he passed the caregiver torch onto my parents.  He of all people should know who takes care of who in this house most of the time.  He brought my Mom up to speed and told her about the seizures and POTS, and if I need to see a neurologist or cardiologist while I’m out of town, I can call my doctor for a referral.

Never mind the mention of seizures that made her flip her lid, the POTS scares my Mom.  Again, I told her it’s a benign condition, but she keeps calling it a heart problem like I’m going to have a heart attack.  I frustrate her because I don’t tell her everything, and I don’t tell her everything because she can’t handle it.  She doesn’t sleep because the stuff she knows makes her too anxious.  It’s too much stress for her, and is more stress for me to deal with.

I heard her talking on the phone to someone and I came up in conversation. “You know, she has heart problems but she doesn’t talk about it.”

Why would I?  I told her the longer I’m on my feet, the more exhausted I get.  Maybe I’m oversimplifying it a bit, but I was trying to convey that I need to rest frequently, and I can’t shop for hours on end, but basically I’m okay.  I’m just miserable.

I eat, sleep, and breathe illness.  It’s always on my mind, whether I want it there or not.  I couldn’t ignore it even if I tried.  The only choice I have is when to talk about it, or when not to.  I’m not avoiding talking about it because it makes me angry or upset.  I’ve said all there is to say to them without being superfluous, and there’s no sense in complaining to people who already feel overwhelmed.

4 thoughts on ““She doesn’t talk about it”

  1. I see this from both sides.
    I’m always sick so I know how it is to want it to be my decision who knows what, and not everyone needs to know all. But I will tell if you really want to. LOL.
    However, I’m also on the end of… my family doesn’t tell me things because I can’t handle it. Well I can, it’s just I’m sick so they think I need to be protected.
    actually that’s simplifying things. They didn’t tell me a lot before, not because I couldn’t handle it, but “we didn’t want you to worry.”
    OK, so they made the decision who to tell.
    But when it’s my parent and my sister knows, but I’m not told, or my sister chooses not to tell me things. Then I have a problem. Why am I not being told. I don’t care if I would worry. I’d be hurt so much more if I later it ended up being sooo much more and I never had any inkling.

    I’m going in circles getting caught up in my situation.

    I’m just saying. It’s hard from both sides.

    but it always your choice who and what to tell.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Absolutely, it is difficult for everyone. I’m the type of person who wants to know everything, because the more I know and understand it, the less anxious I am.

      My Dad has the ability to remain level-headed about this stuff, and he knows not to share it with my Mom. The more she knows, the worse it is for her. She had a brain aneurysm and it really screwed up her executive functioning. She also has comprehension and retention issues, so anything beyond the basics gets lost in translation. The problem is that she likes to fill in the gaps of what she forgets with worst case scenarios, so it really does mess with her.

      I also don’t talk to the in-laws about it because they think my problem is that I’m crazy. Being crazy is a blessing 😉

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I think it’s hard for many people to even comprehend how much of our lives revolve around our illnesses. I think they misinterpret not wanting to talk about it with not caring about it. It’s exhausting enough being constantly ill, even more so when you’re stuck talking about it constantly bringing everyone up to speed. I too answer most questions with the same “I’m fine” or “It’s a work in progress” and hope conversation switches back to the weather or the play offs.

    Liked by 1 person

Talk to me, Goose!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s