Even before the leukemia I was a medical train wreck. I still am. It bugged me when people would almost apologize for telling me about stuff they were struggling with. First, I’m not the only person on the planet going through stuff; I get that. And second, I’m a nurse (I’m disabled, but I’m still licensed as an RN). If I can be of use to someone, I’m a happy camper ! It helped me if I could help them. Still does.
There are times when I’ve felt almost guilty for not being healthy, as if I could fix the stuff that limits me. And at the same time, I have to know my limits, or it can cause other people hassles. That was one of the worst things when I was still working; I caused other people extra work. I hated that.
I don’t ever want to put my struggles ‘above’ anyone else’s. Everybody has ‘stuff’, and it’s not a competition. It’s all relative. For someone who has had a fairly sedate life, having a flat tire on a dark, lonely road is traumatic ! For someone who has had multiple health issues, another one is like “well, what now?”. Both still have to deal with the situation at the time. And being grateful for the things in my life that are going OK, or that I still can do makes a big difference in how I see just about everything. 🙂
I think of my figure skating coach when I was 14– her husband murdered their six children. I can’t imagine having something like that to survive, and then go on with some sort of life. The survivors of the various natural disasters around the world also come to mind. Someone else always has it worse. That doesn’t invalidate what I’m going through, but it does put life in general in perspective.
If my head ever gets so crowded with my own stuff that there’s no room to hear someone else’s struggles, I’m staying in it too much !
So, friends and family, I’m still here for you!