Lately, more and more bloggers are choosing to blog about living with an illness- chronicling their journey with everything from anxiety to autoimmune diseases (I personally blog about gut health over at www.abalancedbelly.co.uk). It is great to see a growing tribe of health bloggers being more open on the web so I've decided to honor that by sharing the 10 things only those of us with a chronic illness can understand...
1. Our morning routine is way more complicated than a bit of meditation and a green juice photograph. Try dealing with symptoms, packing medications, and trying to figure out how you are going to be feeling for the next 24 hours. For many, morning can be the worst time for symptoms-throwing everything into chaos!
2.That secret eye roll you give every time somebody tags you with 'try this hon' in a Facebook post that offers latest cure. We know you mean well, it's just likely we've read every article out there already- including that one where someone ate a tree bark and never had any symptoms since. Yes, that really happened.
3.The drawer you have in your shelving unit dedicated to hospital letters. The NHS must kill thousands of trees a week with the paperwork they send out.
4. If, like many of those with health conditions, you are dealing with dietary restrictions, you are beyond organised. You've memorised the menu of every place you can eat out and always pack emergency supplies just in case you're stranded.
5. How you still get a little bit panicky every time the doctor calls; even if you know that you aren't even due any tests (I had a particular heart-racing incident last week when the lost property office at the hospital called to say I'd left my blogging notebook behind!)
6. When people complain about how scared they are about having an injection for an exotic holiday and you are on first name terms with the blood testing staff at the hospital and roll your sleeve up automatically.
7. When you really do try to muster sympathy when people tell you they understand because they have a cold/ an upset stomach/ had a virus three years ago. No one wants to be a bitch so we smile and sympathise.
8. How you don't even look at the side-effect leaflet of medications anymore, for fear of spending the next week dealing with an imaginary blood clot.
9. That you are way beyond trying to be glam in front of your BAE. If they can't spend five hours holding your hand in A&E, it isn't love!
10. And finally... that writing it all down really does help. Blogging has helped me express my feelings so much and allowed me to connect with others in my situation. If you are thinking about blogging about a health issue, then go for it! You may be surprised at how it might help!
I'd love to hear about whether you identify with any of these- and any other things you feel that only us chronic health sufferers understand.
Jenna Farmer blogs about health over at www.abalancedbelly.co.uk