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The Out-Sick-You Person
There is this certain level of comfort when you meet someone else who has had similar heath experiences as you. You share this instant bond and feel like you could tell each other anything. At least that is how it almost always goes for me….until I meet this person. The out-sick-you person. The person who has had one more test than you, one more PICC line than you have, and shit their pants just last week. That’s how sick they are. If there is one thing that I hate about the sick person community it is the out-sick-you person. There is a fine line between sharing your experiences, which may or may not be worse than the person you’re talking to, and literally trying to out do them.
Granted we have all met that person with UC or Crohn’s who is perfectly fine. They take their 9 pills of Asacol a day and never have to think twice about how UC effects their life. Now I will out-sick that person. For sure. If you’re reading this blog, chances are you could too. However it is my opinion that if you’re here, reading this (and you’re not my Mom), that you’ve ran the sick person gauntlet too. You’ve been to hell and back and maybe you NEVER had a damn PICC line, but who cares?
I’ll admit that I get a little jealous when I meet people who had really simple 2-step procedures over a 3 month span. My surgery sequence was not that “easy”. What does “easy” really mean when it involves removing a major organ? I forget that sometimes those procedures were done due to emergency, or other factors. I forget that my surgeries took 4 steps and 15 months because, I too, had complications.
I’ll also admit that I have been the out-sick-you girl in the past. I used to blurr the line between telling my story and giving constructive information and just spilling every detail of my disease. Doing this usually always produces some kind of “ooh” and “ahh” and probably even a compliment on “how strong” I am. Its a confidence booster. Its like walking along a busy road in a bathing suit. You’re probably going to get a whistle or two….but the quality of the whistler comes into play here. Its one thing to illicit compliments from people who are totally removed from this whole world of IBD surgeries. Its totally different to try to get the same thing, from people who have experienced the same sickness.
Sometimes I feel like when I meet the out-sick you person, its like talking to an insecure teenage girl. “Yes you are sooo pretty.” “No you’re not fat.” “Your IBD was so much worse than mine.” You’re never going to be able to convey that being the sicker of two people is never a good thing. Perhaps its just best to stroke their sickly egos and tell them they were SO much sicker than you were and be done with it.
I mean maybe I’m talking out of my ass, but have you met this person? Have you been the out-sick you person?