A couple of (perhaps slightly contradictory) things will happen to you when you live with a chronic illness. Not attempting to generalise, but based on my own personal experience, I've established a lot of patients will find they are equally cursed and blessed with both a huge increase in empathy for others, and a huge decrease in tolerance for hypochondriacs.
Neither comes as much of a shock I suppose; it makes sense that we find ourselves feeling more akin to those in health-poverty like ourselves. Or that we will have a much lower tolerance for those who give Oscar-worthy performances of illness when in truth they are fitter than Mr Motivator just back from a week’s holiday on a round the world cruise attached to a TENS machine drinking kale smoothies.
I've established over the years, I'm becoming increasingly 'Hypochondriac Intolerant'.
It’s a genuine condition. Honestly.
The main symptoms include; flying into a seething rage at the mention of a cold. Burning up with anger at the mention of how “ill” you are to have been to the toilet more than once in a 24hr period. But the worst, and most dangerous symptom, is the almost uncontrollable urge to scream “STOP LYING, LIAR” at these Hypochondriacs with a Tourette’s’ like regularity. It’s a hard urge to curb.
Heartbreakingly, there is no current effective treatment for Hypochondriac Intolerance. The most sufferers like myself can do, is try their utmost to avoid contact with those inflicted with Hypochondria. They spread their whiny germs quickly and effectively and diseased muther-hubbards like me are often powerless to fight back.
Of course joking aside, pain and suffering is all relative. Your tolerance for pain changes as an illness develops, you get older and your experience widens. For example as a youngster I used to be scared of needles, and thought a quick prick with a syringe was the worst experience of my young life. Then I got my first period and OHBOYOHBOY was that a shock to the system! Literally; I was wearing white pants at the time.
But THEN I got Crohn’s Disease and I have never felt pain like it. I've felt pain since, and will again, but the agony of having an active disease eating away at your insides is something quite indescribable.
So because my pain may not be the same as your pain, who am I to tell you to shut up when you complain of a sore pinky finger? Who am I to mock you for walking with a limp because you tripped over a one pence piece?
I’M THE HYPOCHONDRIAC INTOLERANT ANONYOMOUS SUPPORTERS GROUP that’s who and I just made that name up off the top of my head and so far I’m the only member but I’m here to tell you to keep your whining to yourself. Or else.
So tell me, do you feel sickly punk? Well do you?