Wednesday, July 16, 2014
You Can Stare and I Don't Care
For many of us who are chronically ill we come to learn people will always stare! And trust me they do that a lot. I don't think they mean to do it on purpose it's just human nature but it always turns out to be really annoying for those of us who are sick. Like is the person trying to be mean or are they just curious? I often find most people are just curious. They see something different and they automatically have to know more. Sadly more often than not these people are actually afraid to ask. They don't want to be mean to that person they are staring at but to us who are the ones who are being stared at it is more mean to not ask at all. Being the person I am I tend to raise awareness and educate those about my disease. I'm pretty positive if you have ever read my blog before or even just know me as a person that statement would be pretty accurate to you.
Obviously if I go to the beach or the pool and wear a bikini people would stare. Heck people stare even when they see lines sticking out of my shirt or my feeding tube pump beeping! I mean trust me I have noticed it causes quite the disturbance at the mall, school, or even church. I don't mind the stares at all. You learn to overlook them and just mind your own business. It is just my life not theirs. I know what I am doing and if they really cared they would ask me themselves. Some people actually do and I basically just explain well my stomach is broken and I just can't eat like you. So these tubes help me eat and I have to get food into my heart/veins plus that feeding tube that sticks out of my stomach.
Yes I have gotten some very rude people and those who are just idiots. Like apparently my tube is just headphones? YES I really got that question! They help me hear my stomach juices... (SARCASM) Well you actually CAN plug headphones into your feeding tube...Yes I have tried!
People always tell me they are embarrassed about showing their tube. I personally don't find it a big deal but I know many are scared of being judged by others because they do have a tube. They don't want to draw attention to themselves. Or they just don't like the feeling of knowing they need tubes to keep them alive and they don't want people to know about it. My personal feeling and I guess motto is never be ashamed of something that keeps you alive! That's what I've stuck with! My tubes are my life line without them I would literally drop dead. I have been very open about my disease if people ask me about it. No I am not going to publicize it that I am sick but if you ask that's up to you! There are many friends of mind who don't even know I am sick or just never even realized that fact that I am connected to tubes which is weird to me because I mean it's quite obvious!
I guess those of us who are sick don't know how to tell others who just randomly ask and they feel uncomfortable but we also have to remember those who are asking feel uncomfortable about asking too because they aren't sure about our response. Just keep it simple usually they won't try and go too in depth they just want to know the basics and not everyone has the brain of a doctor or nurse! The general it's just a feeding tube because I have so and so disease is enough. Little kids really don't care. I have noticed they stare less than adults! They just take one look and basically ignore it or they ask what it is and you say it's a feeding tube bc I can't eat like you and they are totally fine with it! While many adults are sadly disgusted by the fact that I even have a tube. It must suck to have a twisted mind that is appalled by anything different! I think I could probably teach them a thing or two about acceptance and today's society.
Anyway what I say is let people stare I don't care! It's my life not theirs they can row a boat and get over it!(Isn't that the saying?) Anyway what I am basically saying to those who are ashamed of what their disease has done to their body is never be ashamed of something that keeps you alive! That's just the way God made you and if that is fine with him then it better be okay with everybody else! Also to those who are the ones who stare and ask questions. Just be respectful about it! Most of us don't care if you do ask questions because all that means is that you want to know more about our struggle and hey getting a quick science/medical lesson never hurt anybody!