Everyone has their own method of communication. Even different sports seem to have different lingo; not just definitions either. Many of us are part of the “elite club of chronic illness”.
There’s seems to be an unwritten code among people with chronic illnesses. A secret communication method that you only recognize once you become part of the elite club. There’s something comforting knowing that another person, just, well, they just ‘get it’. In general, society will always ask how we are. They are expecting us to say good or okay. My term is ‘sunshine and roses’. But, a majority of the time we are lying just so that we don’t have to explain what is really going on. We hide things that are too hard to talk about or how we are actually feeling. If we ever said how we REALLY felt, all of our friends and family would turn around and run the other direction. I’m not sure about any of you, but personally I want to keep my loved ones around me.
Once you get ill and connect with others who are in similar situations, that is when things change. Don’t get me wrong. We still want to communicate with our friends and family too. There is something different about knowing someone with any chronic condition.
We form our own support system and help each other get through hard days and celebrate triumphantly on good days. People with illnesses have an unwritten code that only we understand. We can hear the feelings without seeing the words. We don’t expect sunshine and roses. We want to know how the others REALLY are and we say it. It’s an elite club to be in; not one that any of us wanted or chose, but elite nonetheless.
I have been online with people who were in the ER in the middle of the night, when their spouse wouldn’t get up. I’ve told them what was going to happen each step of the way. Warned what to expect next, what labs were going to be done and what medications were going to be given. I’ve talked people down from anxiety levels that were through the roof. You can feel the calmness in the way they write. But, unfortunately only those of us in the club can reach out. Each of recognizes when we need to reach out and lend a hand. So many times we will be there for a fellow friend before they even realized that they needed the help.
It’s a relationship like none other that I’ve ever encountered before. A relationship that I’m so grateful for. This unwritten language that exists. You’ll know it if you ever join the ranks of chronic illness.