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The other day I was at the hair-stylist and one of the girl combing out my hair told me that my hair was falling, a lot. Yes of course, I knew that. As someone with hypothyroidism, I have been losing hair on and off. I mentioned that to her and she immediately responded with “Me too!” Even as I was wondering in my mind how she managed her work (she had to be on her feet and smiling at the customers all through the day, a daunting prospect), whether she felt tired or if she was one of those lucky ones who did not feel the exhaustion, she observed, “How exhausted it makes you feel, no?” It was then my turn to go, “Me too!”

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It does mean quite a lot when you hear that “Me too!” from someone, because generally all that you hear are the following comments listed in the poster below, if not directly (how many can actually stop themselves from giving out useless gyan in our society, even if they know zilch about what the other person is going through?), then in implied barbs and/ or in a mistakenly stupid kind way intended to harass “help” you. It does NOT help in any way, please understand, unless of course your intention is to willfully do the opposite?.

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So next time if you feel the urge to say any of the above or something similar, to those who have some chronic illness or other, pause, reflect and SHUT UP. Your silence will be an invaluable contribution to those suffering.

Then there are those who think this whole thing is some sort of a competition, that everything is in the numbers. My lab report is worse than yours, so you can’t say you are worse off than me. Oh, so your cholesterol level is only this much? Mine is way high. Smirk, smirk. So you have hypertension? What’s the numbers? But that’s like nothing compared to mine (and the implied but unsaid words: What the hell are you complaining about?) What’s your TSH level? But that’s within limit. Mine is way high and look at me, I have none of what you are complaining of. You can’t be having all those symptoms for real! You get the drift?

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An illness thus becomes a game of one-up-manship for some. To them: Wake up, Morons (and I am being kind to you by calling you just that). If YOU are feeling well and okay and I am feeling worse, THAT is all that counts, whatever bleddy number your lab report gives. Stop acting like you are a nursery kid showing off to your buddies the number of marbles you have collected. Personally i feel you have lost some. Remember, we are all not fighting the same battle. If you have been lucky to be fighting s smaller battle don’t push it down the throat of those having a harder time than you.

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There are some people who take pride in the amount of work they do. It is not enough that they do everything on their own, without help from anyone, they also have to crow about it to all and sundry. Look at me. look at me. I am so bleddy G.R.E.A.T. Aren’t I? No they are not actually singing that song. But their conversation is that song being sung so loud that in addition to your already low self-esteem taking a beating, your eardrums are fit to burst too.  To them: Tussi great ho ji. Agreed. Here’s a stamp paper, signed and notarized, in which I have mentioned the fact. Now can I go back and be my non-great self, in peace? Pretty please?

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Then there are those who do not understand why you never connect, why mails are not answered, why you don’t pickup your phone, why you just want to be left alone. To them: Try to be more empathetic. I understand why you are so bubbly, active and so full of energy. So how difficult is it to understand how someone feels when the source of all that you enjoy is damaged and won’t work full-time in them?

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There are so many out there misunderstood, made fun of, labelled as lazy and hypochondriacs because some others are lucky enough to enjoy better health. To them: This next poster is for you, in solidarity.

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Note: The posters in this blog-post do not belong to me and have been taken off the net.

NaBloPoMo November 2014

©Shail Mohan 2014

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