Friday, November 8, 2013

Addendum to stigmas

As Lesley commented yesterday, the same can be true about chronic problems. People just don't understand. Then they forget you still have a problem or ask why it isn't better. Chronic problems do not go away.

A good example of this is that I have lymphedema in my left arm. I used to go for acupuncture. When I started I had to fill out a big long form with all my health issues on it. We talked about all my ailments and including lymphedema and how there could be no needles on that arm.

The acupuncturist would 'forget' sometimes and go to put a needle in my left arm. The last straw for me was when she said to me 'this hasn't resolved itself yet?'.  Clearly despite her statements that she had learned about lymphedema, she had no clue.

Then I have friends who ask if I want to go on a big hiking trip as in the past - no can do. That part of my life is over. And not by choice. If I can't go hiking it doesn't mean I don't enjoy your company.

I think some people feel that their friend's chronic problems will just go away if they could just wish them away. But life isn't like that. Which is why the diagnosis and treatment was so traumatic.

I mentioned my current knee problems. Well this is a third year of problems with what is formerly known as my 'good' knee. Now I don't have a 'good' knee. I have two knees which I hope won't need replacements for a couple of decades.

If someone has a chronic ailment and can't get around and out and about as  much, they are still there. Don't ignore them. If you can't get together, pick up the damn phone and call them.

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