Fecal Attraction

It’s not always easy to live with chronic illness.  I know that sounds like a blindingly obvious statement, but actually there’s a lot of pressure to be positive, accepting, calm yet still fun, both from other people and ourselves.  It’s fucking exhausting and if grades were being awarded for handling chronic illness well my entire family would currently get a big fat U.

Yesterday I had a total meltdown.  The lergie is still lingering and I feel like death.  I’ve lost 6lbs in ten days because I can’t eat, I’m still coughing my head off, I’m still not sleeping, and ghosts have more colour than I do. Add to this my period and the horrendous stress from my Camera Club and I am barely functioning.  Despite that, I’d agreed ages ago to take an elderly friend to the city for a hospital appointment.  He has no family of his own locally, his wife died 2 years ago, he has prostate cancer, is in heart failure, is diabetic, has had 2 serious spinal surgeries and can barely walk due to neuropathy in his legs.  He is also abjectly lonely, so not only did he want to go for his appointment he wanted to go for lunch first, making the day 2 hours longer than it needed to be.  But I feel sorry for him, so we went.  I was gone for 5 hours altogether and felt so ill when I got back to my parents to pick the dog up I burst into tears the second I walked through the door.  It all just felt too much.  The injustice of how I’m being treated at my Club, my illness, getting a virus on top of everything else, my periods never ending and having the responsibility of my two sick parents, not to mention my sick friend, is too much for any chronically ill person and I honestly felt like my mind was going to snap.

Luckily, and for once, my Mum wasn’t drunk and she came and hugged me.  I think it’s the first time she’s hugged me like that in about 6 years and it felt nice.  My Dad was also lovely, though embarrassed and didn’t know what to do 😉  I felt better for having a good bawl though am still weepy today.

This afternoon I had to pick Bertie’s gabapentin medication up from the vets, so as I was already in town I called in at my parents’.  It was clear from the outset they were both having a bad day.  My Dad has been irritable all week, which is really unlike him as he’s usually so happy go lucky.  My Mum is quite often tetchy but today she was obviously on the edge and between the two of them you could cut the atmosphere with a knife.  I honestly thought I would have a nervous breakdown if they bickered just one more time.

I eventually got home, had a nice bath and managed to drink half a cup-a-soup without wanting to puke, which is my biggest food-related achievement of the week so far.  Feeling slightly stronger, I rang my Mum and asked why things were so strained.  She admitted she’s just sick and tired of being sick and tired, and I totally get that.  Boy, do I get that.  My Dad is grumpy and particularly confused, and Mum just can’t cope with it when she’s also feeling down and frustrated.  The pair of them are just really struggling with being ill and all the confines and pressures that brings with it.

I told her not to be so hard on herself.  We’re not super human and it’s normal to feel fed up and to get narky sometimes.  It’s the unfairness of chronic illness which seems to get to all of us.  My Mum has worked like a dog her whole life; my Dad is a lovely person who would do anything for anyone; and I hope I’m a kind, loving and giving citizen, and yet all this crap has befallen us.

Society often talks about karma and we’re brought up with the implication that if you’re a good person good things will happen to you.  It’s bollocks.  Bad things happen to good people all the time.  In fact, I’m convinced that the nicer you are the more shit tends to head your way – maybe there’s some law of fecal attraction or something.  There is not an ounce of fairness in the world – you could wander the sewers offering food to starving rats and the bastards would bite you the second they were strong enough.  Being a good and kind person takes work and I’m not sure the rewards are worth it.  Maybe in my old age I’ll become a law breaking, drug injecting, gin guzzling don’t-give-a-crap-bitch, then with a bit of luck I’ll win the lotto and find Mr Right.  I’ll need to go get a ‘Be a bitch for dummies’ book off Amazon though, cos having been a good and kind person my whole life I wouldn’t know where to start 😉

 

 

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4 thoughts on “Fecal Attraction

  1. Jan Groh

    Lol – good one: “fecal attraction”! haha. I know the feeling. Nice guys (and gals) finish last. My takeaway over the years is: quit being so nice. Which doesn’t have to mean stop being nice *at all*, just not *all the time* or *even when you’re feeling totally crappy or put out or really shouldn’t but do anyway*. I know, it seems like we’re the only ones to help sometimes, but… it’s on all of us (like your poorly neighbor) to ask for help. (Pride goeth – and went – before the fall.)

    I stopped putting out and giving myself away so much and guess what? The world not only didn’t stop coming to an end, but I started to enjoy myself more. And get better. The world will take as long as we’re willing to give. WE set the limit. Not the world. Good luck and take care of yourself. And urge those you love to do the same. We can’t save them all from themselves. We just can’t. Or we go down.

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    1. Jak Post author

      I’m absolutely playing hardball with my camera club and I think they are wondering what the hell hit them, as they’ve never seen that side of me before.

      As for not helping others, I struggle more with that. For the decade I was bedridden I had zero help, so when I see someone else in the same situation I know how it feels. It’s a difficult dilemma for me and I don’t always get the balance right between helping others while still being kind to myself x

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  2. init72

    You are such a lovely person – I think to help your elderly friend more you could maybe get them an appointment with their GP to discuss Transport to and from their hospital appointments which will take the pressure off you….and from an insurance point means they have the qualified people with them should any type of event occur and you don’t have to deal with any of that too – then maybe you could just stick to taking them out for the odd cup of tea when you are both up to it or a little shopping if they need it. The one thing I have learnt from Chronic illness is to start to say ‘No’ a little more and if no is too strong then find an alternative means – a ‘Win Win’ situation – we become amazing problem solvers!!

    I hope you manage to rest up and recuperate over the weekend and know you have people on here backing you xxx

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    1. Jak Post author

      Thank you! As I said to Jan above, I do find it hard not to help someone in my friend’s position. Having been there myself and everyone just left me to get on with it on my own, I know how that feels to feel alone and to be struggling 😦

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