Chronic illness is, truly, the gift that keeps on giving.
It continues to cause medical issues in your life despite treatments, but it also gives family and friends lovely new ways to believe you're inferior.
Here are the top 3 lies people tend to believe about chronic illness:
1. You caused your illness.
Regardless of whether you have a type of cancer or autoimmune disease or mental health issue, everyone loves to believe that you have caused your illness.
Society loves to blame the victim, and that's no different in healthcare than it is in criminal cases.
The truth is that no patient or victim has done anything to deserve the wrongs they endure.
You did not cause your illness.
You did not bring this upon yourself.
This is not some karmic retribution for a past wrong.
2. You could walk a mile yesterday, so you can definitely do it today.
The vast majority of chronic illnesses can rapidly change how we feel.
One day, I can attempt to run. The next, I can barely move... Hence, part of why I don't try to run anymore.
I have seen the same in a variety of patients.
Just because we could do something before does not mean we can right now.
3. You just want to stay at home and be lazy.
Many patients have had great social lives pre-diagnosis with a chronic illness. We don't necessarily want to be hermits.
We want to come to your weddings, baby showers, nights out, and friend vacations.
I want to go to comic con and not have to have my husband repeatedly rub my spine while I cry.
I want to be able to stand wearing clothes so I can go to work without missing so many days.
I just want to be able to do what I want to do. No other patients are any different.
Do you believe any of these? What would YOU put in your top 3?