Friday 22 August 2014

Professional Sick Person

In my Bloggers profile, on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc, I make it no secret that I suffer with health 'issues'. Whilst I hate to be defined by my problems, I accept that they're a HUGE part of myself and my life.

I got diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome at 18 along with Functional Neurological disorder, I'd been ill for several years before hand and in a way it was a relief to finally have a label. Although now as I write this I realise I have considerably more unmentioned labels. I guess they're like buses you wait and wait for one then a load turn up at once.

I digress, so yes, I'm Charlotte ( Or Lottie as my besties call me ) I have an illness....Illness can be unbelievably time consuming, endless doctors, appointments or days confined to bed, it's not difficult to see why some people define me and others like me as 'that sick girl'. Believe it or not I do other things too, when well enough, I meet friends, eat out, go to a pub / club, wander around town shopping, average 23 year old female things. However not everybody sees that stuff, and seeing is believing ( so I've heard ).

Recently I've rediscovered the joy of reading, a book I've really enjoyed and related to is 'The fault in our stars' by John Green. I'd definitely recommend it and it's currently out in cinemas if you're not the bookworm type.

Summery without spoilers - It's about a 16 year old girl living with terminal cancer a  love story essentially, think 'My Sisters Keeper' but with more comedy. 

Throughout the book she refers to herself and the other cancer kids as 'professional sick people'. Their lives are their illness.

 At a party when you introduce yourself and people ask what you do, I imagine you mention your work, your professional occupation, or that you're a student studying such and such.

Me? I've come to dread such conversations, 'um I don't really do much, I didn't go to Uni and I'm not currently working'.... Thinking 'oh god please change the subject'. It doesn't help that my illness is largely invisible.

I guess without really intending to, I too have become a 'Proffesional Sick Person' 
It's a pretty rubbish occupation for someone who doesnt like her illness to define her.

Job description - watch large amounts of daytime TV, play candy crush, housework, nap, doctors appointments, take meds, sleep some more. Sounds easy but depending on how I'm feeling the simplist things can be a challenge.

I'm that person who carries pain killers and can recommend a doctor, or recite endless anecdotes from my most recent hospital adventure ... 'Professional Sick Person' ...

I guess there isn't really a particular point to this post other than, if you too are a 'professional sick person' I know your struggles, we may have a different ailment / illness but I understand some of the frustrations you must feel. Especially when meeting new people and having that 'what do you do?' Conversation.

If you're healthy and reading this, remember. Yes I'm a professional sickie, but I'm also a normal 23 year old. This may be my current occupation but like I said at the beggining, believe it or not I do other things, just like you. You are not your occupation and neither am I.

I wish we didn't live in a world so focused on the status of others, being a wealthy, well educated lawyer doesn't make you a nice person, just as being homeless and on benefits doesn't make you a bad one.

If we all paid more attention to the things that matter, people's morals and integrity, I think the ill and disabled would feel less judged and isolated. Personally I often feel embarrassed when I have to mention that my illness doesn't allow me to work, Infact my health issues are a full time job.

Stay Positive and try and surround yourself with good people.

Lots of love xxxx

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