Monday, February 1, 2016

Chronic illness + social life? Here's how to have BOTH! P.S. We need a little help from our friends. ;)

When you're fighting a chronic illness, hanging out with friends can be quite tricky. In fact, getting out of the house can be nearly impossible
It's not that we don't want to see you, or meet you for coffee
It's not that we don't care about your presence in our life
It's not that we don't appreciate your kind gesture
It's not that we don't want to have FUN with you
Sometimes [most of the time], our inability to see you is 
completely out of our control
Why, you ask?
That's easy!! One word:
Our bodies are simply and relentlessly unpredictable. 
We almost never know when we might stumble into a flare. 
It could be related to...
eating something other than the mere FIVE foods we tolerate, 
foul weather, 
side effects from a treatment, 
a full moon [yes, this is a real trigger], 
the fact that it's a Tuesday and not a Wednesday, 
putting on mismatching socks, 
rubbing our tummy and patting our head at the same time, 
sticking to our regiment so well that it's time to be punished...
In other words, 
something completely regular and meaningless can set off a flare. 
Flares don't have to be triggered by a typical trigger
It can be ANYTHING or NOTHING that sends us into a miserable flare.
 {As if that wasn't enough, our a-n-x-i-e-t-y shoots through the roof once we're in the middle of the flare.
 That doesn't help, either. 
We'd prefer not to end up at the local Starbucks with you as our sweat stains reach our WAISTLINE
We'd rather not be at the movies with you if we can't sit still due to severe joint pain from our hips, or the fact that our stomach looks like we've swallowed a watermelon
It's embarrassing for us to feel so poorly in front of others, so we just avoid contact to escape humiliation. 
-SO, you're probably wondering how you will E-V-E-R be able to hang out with us, right?-
Phone calls, 
a cup of coffee at our house,
a yummy lunch in our kitchen that's entirely "gut-friendly", 
LITERALLY show up at our front door, 
a Hollywood hit in our at-home movie theater where we can accommodate our position for any joint pain, 
a gentle walk around the neighborhood for some fresh air instead of chemical-rich air in a mall...
In other words, 
you may have to prepare yourself to take charge of the situation.
We may never feel well enough to make an adventure happen, so you might have to help us out a little bit. ;) 
That's all we ask of you. 
Please, please, please [with cherries on top!] bear with us so we can enjoy your company. 
We promise to repay you in some way, possibly with a BIG BAG of... homemade, 
[If that sounds reasonable to you, 
you ROCK!!!!!!!]
~Souper Douper SCDer~