To the cashier who asked me to chase down the customer ahead of me who forgot his table number at the counter:
I just had countless needles shoved into my hip joints, ligaments, and muscles less than an hour ago. Please don’t make me act like an ass and either pretend I didn’t hear you or sound like a liar when I tell you I just had a procedure and cannot handle your request right now.
To the person who asked me if everything is okay when I didn’t greet them with a smile and a lighthearted anecdote:
I couldn’t sleep last night or the night before. It’s not that I’m not tired, it’s that I am so physically uncomfortable that I can’t sleep. Nope, it’s not like how you stayed out drinking really late on Saturday and had to wake up early to run a 10k the next morning…it’s really, really different.
To the pharmacist who never questions my stack of prescriptions or openly judges me:
Thank you so, so much. I know that a lot of young people with chronic conditions who have to take serious meds have horror stories about getting their prescriptions filled each month. My little family-owned pharmacy, however, has never given me one issue.
To the person who asked me if I think I “deserve special treatment, or something?”
Umm…yes, obviously! If you ever break your leg or get a good stomach flu I’m going to ask you the same question and see how you feel.
To the friend who freaked out about the amount of medicine I take:
No one wishes I didn’t take daily meds to control my pain more than me. I am so grateful you have stuck around all these years when others have chosen to peace out, but it’s really hard for me to be your source of reassurance that everything in my life is going to work out. But you’re so amazingly wonderful that you can ask me every day if you want, and each time I will answer your questions and try to be as patient with you as you are with me.
Your television shows are a triumph, and the fact that every episode is always streaming is beyond my wildest dreams. Please don’t ever cancel Game of Thrones, or Veep, or Silicon Valley…
To the 70-something woman who gave me the stink eye as I got out of the car after parking in a handicap space:
Yes, I have a legitimate reason for this permit. But yes, I am exaggerating my limp right now because you’re watching/judging me. Whatcha gonna do about it?
To the person who thinks that “I’m having a bad pain day” is a lame excuse for not being able to attend her 3rd wedding party this month:
Could I use my chronic pain as an excuse for anything? Absolutely! Do I use this power for evil? Certainly not. As convenient it would be to skip out of everything I didn’t feel like doing without any notice at all, it’s a slippery slope, and a practice I’m afraid to start. I’m already a social hermit without even trying; why would I want to make that worse?
To the person who thinks they could handle what I have better than I do:
My mother reads this blog, so I’m going to censor myself: Fuck off.*
*Sorry, Mom. I couldn’t help myself.