20 responses to ““Please, Keep Us Updated On Your Health””

  1. lilacsigil

    but no one makes a value judgment about you when they hear that you have asthma

    Unless you’re also fat, in which case that’s causing the asthma!

    Otherwise, yes, I hear everything you’re saying. I live in a town of 800 people and the gossip is rampant.

  2. Sasha_feather

    Fantastic post. My mom and I left a small shop because two people (the shop worker and a friend) were talking very loudly about her health issues, complete with inaccurate information about what classes of meds she was taking. It was definitely an uncomfortable experience. Here we were out shopping, having fun, and it kind of ruined our fun space. Even if they would have lowered their voices, that would have been better.
    .-= Sasha_feather´s last blog ..Language =-.

  3. lilacsigil

    Oh, wow, I actually am fat…and have somehow evaded the fat=asthma trope! Astounding.

    I’m so happy that someone missed out on this one!

  4. Bri

    Oh the advice thing… that is beyond belief. Oh you are fat? Have you tried *insert name of every ridiculous fad diet every invented*? My *insert name of friend, co-worker, relative, second cousin’s uncle’s mother’s dog’s first owner* did it and it worked for them!


    And the small town thing? I so hear you on that. While I don’t like the impersonal nature of the city, sometimes the claustrophobic nature of a country town can be just as depressing. Another challenge to the small town thing is when you work as an allied health professional (I am a counsellor and social worker by profession) and you need to avail youself of a counselling or social work service but you know you are going to have to go further afield than you own town (or even region) because you attend meetings with, work with, have professional associations with, every single social worker and/or counsellor within a 200km radius. And it isn’t that you don’t trust them not to keep to the Privacy Act, it is just that you don’t want to be running into someone ALL the time who knows all your personal business…
    .-= Bri´s last blog ..Quick hits =-.

  5. Cee

    “often gets garbled, which means that I’ve heard a lot of varied, wrong, and highly entertaining variations on my disability status and health issues.”

    “branded for life by the judgments of others”

    What can one do if this has happened and they have lost jobs etc because of it especially when the information/gossip is inaccurate?

  6. kaninchenzero

    What can one do if this has happened and they have lost jobs etc because of it especially when the information/gossip is inaccurate?

    In my case the gossip was that I was trans (technically true though I wasn’t out then) and planning to transition at the job I had at the time (absolutely not true). I got fired ninety days after the meeting where the human resources director told me about the rumors about me. Ostensibly for poor communcation skills.

    The depression and paranoia and dissociation I was living with at the time got a whole lot worse. I could not stop thinking about blood and fire and death. I drank a lot. Shaved most of my body. Was hospitalized. Tried to get mental health professionals to listen to me about being trans and to get some help with that, to no avail. They gave me SSRIs and lithium and Risperdal and Ativan and tried to get me to talk about my childhood.

  7. Astrid

    I can definitely relate to this. Because I have a visible disability, people are used to asking me all kinds of questions about it, and I am used to just answering them even if it’s none of their business. I don’t accept it anymore if people stand ove rme when I’m at the computer, trying to figure out how my assistive tech works: they can ask and I’ll take time to explain, but please don’t try to hang over my shoulder when I’m sending a private E-mail.

    With regard to my invisible disability, I used to be more reserved than with questions regarding blindness, and I am trying to become more reserved again. After all, the details of my psychiatric institutionalization are none of a cab driver’s business even if he’s taking me there. Even if they assume incorrectly that I’m there because of my blindness, I don’t try to correct them anymore. I might destigmatize the blind just a little that way, but I’m stigmatizing people with my mental diagnosis in turn.
    .-= Astrid´s last blog ..Socialist Party May No Longer Keep Its Members’ Salaries =-.

  8. mocha

    This. Totally this.

    It is so infuriating when random people come up to me, assuming they know more about my disability than I do, and proceed to ask questions (more often than not, in a scolding, “I’m making sure you’re being a good patient” tone) or telling me what I’ve done / am doing wrong, and that’s why I’m disabled.

    Honestly, what motivates some people to do this, I have no idea.
    .-= mocha´s last blog ..Seriously =-.

  9. Jesse the K

    Meloukhia @10: I at least have the luxury of passing for something I’m not when I am in a place where people do not know me.

    Passing never feels luxurious to me. Instead, I’ll feel either
    nothing at all (when I forget that people can’t see my mental health or cognition impairments)
    sneaky or deceitful
    .-= Jesse the K´s last blog ..Quoted for Truth: Loving One’s Disabled Body =-.

  10. Lexin

    You know, I’ve always assumed that this ‘keep us updated, won’t you?’ is intended as a social nicety unless it comes from someone who has a right to know (my doctor, my boss) and I answer on that basis with a bright ‘of course!’ but with no intention of doing anything of the kind.

    Miss Manners, does that make me a social slug?

  11. LeeLee

    My in-laws, with the best of intentions, sometimes forget than my health is not a family issue to be spoken about to the general public. Occasionally, I’ll get cards in the mail from people at their church, whom I do not know, letting me know they have been praying for me in prayer group. I have no philosophical objections to prayer, so there is no issue there for me, but what the hell?! They seem to know some details, too. I certainly don’t expect my in-laws to absolutely, never mention their son and his family, so my health is bound to come up in conversations with people that I know as well, but a little discretion would be nice, ya know?

    And my in-laws always ask to be kept up to speed on my health. And ask pointed questions about “how I’m feeling.” I’ve taken to answering “like hell, per usual.” And immediately changing the subject. I may have to take a more direct route – they’re lovely, but clueless.

  12. PharaohKatt

    Argh, I know what you mean. I get a variation on this from people who know about my depression.
    “How are you feeling?” or “How have you been feeling?” This is not to be mistaken with the social greeting “Hi, how are you?” – It’s nothing like that. They always say it in that quiet, sympathetic voice that implies “I know you’ve been wanting to hurt yourself, please tell me every detail so I can feel better”. It is so aggravating!
    .-= PharaohKatt´s last blog ..The Spoon Theory: How Does It Affect You? =-.

  13. Melissa

    Great post. I don’t have a disability, but I was born with a medical “issue” (to me, a total NON-issue that doesn’t affect my daily life in any way). But the people who know about it feel entitled to updates and descriptions of my medical history, and that pisses me off to no end.

  14. willow329

    Just to add to the fat=asthma topic, when I was a kid the big thing to equate asthma with was anxiety. (see ending of “Goonies” where the kid gets brave and throws away his inhaler) When my son was diagnosed with asthma, they still thought it was because I “yelled at him too much.”

  15. calyx

    Heh heh, I actually wish someone would ask me to keep them updated on my health (CFS), because my experience is that everyone forgets or doesn’t take it seriously enough to mention it. Even my parents. Never mind that I’m on a disability pension, so CFS is like, a pretty major thing in my life.

    I’m probably missing the point of the article, but I’m feeling pretty angry right now about invisibleness.

  16. kitrona

    Invisibility is definitely frustrating (and angry-making!). It seems there’s extremes on this: either you’re treated as a faker or people seem to think they’re entitled to know everything about your condition. Sometimes both at the same time!

    I just wish people would see me as a person first.