From my 2010 Journal. I don’t like being sick. Period. Other than hypochondriacs, I guess nobody does. It’s debilitating, annoying, and restricting. I don’t get sick very often, but when I do, I want the world to know about it. On the other hand, I like to be left alone to my misery, not hovered and fussed over. But I do like for people to know that I hurt and where. Somehow it helps to verbalize it. Why is that I wonder?
Some people are very private about their health (we were all shocked to hear of a friend’s death recently because she had told no one about her cancer); others blab every detail whether you want to hear about it not. What makes the difference? Wounding? (They crave the attention and sympathy to prove their worth.) Temperament? (Melancholics are more prone to complain, I suspect, than Sanguines.) Vows? (I have a friend who grew up with a mom who constantly verbalized her aches and pains, and she determined to do the opposite. This friend is a most gracious and pleasant person to be around in spite of her debilitating disease and chronic pain.)
Saying the words aloud is like putting around me cardboard shields of protection. People can still get into my space if needed, but it gives me more privacy or space from intrusion. I suspect this is an introvert thing. I seek to protect my energy, whereas a Sanguine craves the attention because people energize them.
So . . . if I don’t say the words and tell people how I’m feeling, they don’t know to give me space. And my dear, extrovert husband—all he wants to do is pay even more attention to me when I’m miserable—because, of course, that’s what he wants when he’s ill!
How do you respond when you’re sick or in pain and why?
I live with the chronic pain/illness of Fibromyalgia and migraines. At first I wanted people (like my mum, my doctor, my husband) to know where I hurt so they wouldn’t touch those spots. But it was everywhere and the brain fog … well, it was hard to get through the days. When I finally had a diagnosis (30 years ago), the doctors said, “There’s no cure for this; you’ll have to learn to live with it.” So I did. Fibromyalgia is just part of my daily life now. I have good days and bad, days I have energy, some I have none; days I can walk upright, and days I lurch or have to hold onto a wall; days I can pull words from the air and days I struggle for every word I put on the screen. I never know from day to day how I will feel, so I’ve learned to give myself grace, learned to laugh when things don’t go as I planned. I don’t talk about it much, this is just life. I sometimes feel limited, but not often. I’m an introvert and don’t talk much when I’m sick. I have a lovely husband who is content to let me be miserable by myself. If I need him, he’s available, but he doesn’t hover.
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