Monday, September 21, 2015

Keeping silent on health issues

I find it very sad when people feel forced to keep their illnesses private. As you may have heard, Jackie Collins, the author, died this weekend of breast cancer. Apparently she was diagnosed six and one half years ago with stage IV breast cancer and only told her daughters.

Many people do not tell others about their ailments for a variety of reasons. Some may want to keep their health private but others I think feel forced to keep their health private. I can understand this at some levels. Why open yourself up for pity or stupid platitudes that we all want to avoid?

But then I think there are people who keep their health issues quiet because of potential bias from employers, friends, and family. The stupid 'they got *** so they are going to die' mentality. They are ready to ready to plan your funeral and split up your belongings immediately.

A woman who I worked with told me when she hears about someone's cancer diagnosis, she is ready to write them off because cancer will get them soon. This is just so sad. Others keep their health silent because they do not want to damage their career. Managers don't want to hire people who might drop dead on them, or require lots of health care and time off.

Our culture tells us those with health issues must be treated differently. When I go to the grocery store with a wrist splint on, the baggers always put two items in each bag so to 'accommodate' my perceived health. These same baggers fill the bags up when I don't have a splint on. Yes they are being polite but overly accommodating. I have no more desire to deal with twenty bags of two items each than two bags of twenty items each. But some kind of balance in the middle would be good for all. Or you could ask how heavy I want the bags to be. That would be an appreciated accommodation.

Too many people make assumptions about other's well being. Perhaps if they asked instead of assumed we would all be happier. And no cancer is not going to kill us tomorrow so stop treating us as if we were made of glass.Treat us normally. Thank you.

2 comments:

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The Presents of Presence said...

Beautifully said. Treat us normally, with kindness and caring and respect. But normally...great job!