Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Trying to Explain it to People Part 2 - Family

Have you ever had that one relative who has always had the exact same affliction that you do? Lets say you broke your toe... "Oh I did that two years ago... let me tell you how to deal with it..." Well.... My mom is kinda like that. Admittedly she has had her fair share of medical problems but they have all been temporary and treatable. (lets not mention that a HUGE percentage of them were/are avoidable but she is too stubborn to make minor changes in her lifestyle and so she ignores doctor's orders and then is ALWAYS SHOCKED when she ends up in the hospital and/or very sick)


Back to the topic of conversation. My family has a condition known as "I know better than you". They are very concerned for my welfare and my health, but they just don't think that I know what I am talking about most of the time. I'm not sure why this is. But it is. They don't take into account the HOURS every day that I spend researching my disease. They seem to tune out when I tell them that I have called every surgery center in a 100 mile radius. And they especially disdain any intelligent information that I present them with.

Here are some conversations I have had:
Mom: Is there any normal food you can eat?
Me: Not really. I have to be very careful with the total amount of fat I ingest.
Mom: Well I had gallstones but they went away... You haven't had an attack for a while maybe yours went away! (PS. mom has NEVER had gallstones and on the date in question when she says she was diagnosed with gallstones I was at the hospital with her. She was diagnosed with an overdose of potassium and a DVT in her right leg and they found a lump on one of her ovaries, but no gallstones)
Me: I just don't want to risk another big attack like the one that put me in the ER. Everything I have read about it says that once you have gallstones you will always have them. They don't go away.
Mom: Well mine did
Me: ok Mom.


Dad: Well why don't you go to mexico and have it taken out?
Me: I don't have a passport
Dad: Well get one!
Me: Dad I can't afford to spend the money on the passport and then the trip to Mexico and then pay for the surgery. I can barely pay for groceries every week.
Dad: Well I just don't understand why you can't just take a pill to make it better
Me: They have not found one that works very well yet and I have only really found one research center dedicated to researching new treatments for gallbladder disease. Kinda hard to get new meds when no one is looking for them.
Dad: hmmm well you could just go back to eating regularly and take pain pills if the pain gets too bad. You can get some good pain meds in Mexico for really cheap.
Me: *face palm*


Mom: Why can't you eat red meat?
Me: Because its REALLY high in fat. I can eat ground beef if it starts out as 95/5 and I cook the living bejesus out of it and then also blot all the grease out. But even then I can really only have that like once or twice a month. besides its like $6 per pound...
Mom: What about Bison? isn't that really low in fat?
Me: Lower than regular ground beef, but not lower than the uber lean ground beef. and its still rather expensive
Mom: well I think Bison is lower in fat and its only $4 per pound.
*I got to my fave fat checking site and checked it out*
Me: cool... well let me check it out *tap tap tap* 95/5 Ground beef is 5 grams of fat per serving. Ground Bison is 8.6 grams of fat
Mom: *nothing she just walked away*


Sister: I don't understand why *local catholic hospital* won't help you out. They let me make payments when I had my abscess lanced. (said abscess was behind her ear and the procedure was done in an exam room)
Me: I called and I talked to their financial people. They flat out refused to even talk about a payment plan or a hardship plan for my surgery. They told me the same thing every other surgery center I have called has said. Either get insurance or pay for it up front.
Sister: That just doesn't seem right. Aren't they like mandated by god to help people?
Me: I have no clue, but I do know that aren't looking to help me
Sister: I think you should call again. maybe you spoke to the wrong person.
Me: hmm maybe.. but I was pretty sure that the director of financial aid at the hospital was the right person to talk to.


I hate sounding like a condescending asshat. And most of these conversations end up with *insert family member here* being mad at me for being a Know-it-all. So in the month or so since the gallbladder attack from hell I have learned to just smile and nod when they start throwing out their cockamamie ideas and saying things like "Sounds great I'll look into it" or "Cool thanks for the info, I'll check it out". They get to walk away smuggly thinking that they have done their good deed for the day and I don't have to look like a know-it-all asshat.
I should get this shirt

 Luckily for me The Boy is only 7. He got it. I explained it to him once and he didn't question it.
The Boy: Mommy, why did you go to the hospital?
Me: Because my gallbladder is sick and it made me very sick
The Boy: Will your golfbladder get better?
Me: *chuckling* no honey but I can take special care of it so it doesn't make me so sick anymore
The Boy: ok Mommy. Take care of your golfbladder.
a few weeks later
The Boy: Mommy why can't you eat the pizza at my birfday party?
Me: Remember my gallbladder is sick, there are a lot things I can't eat anymore
The Boy: oh right, your golfbladder is sick *pause for dramatic effect* can you eat my cake that you made me?
Me: No honey I can't
The Boy: *gives me a big hug* I'm sorry your golfbladder is so sick mommy... *looks up at me with big innocent eyes* Can I have your piece of cake?

It looked something like this
Thank god my son is around to keep me sane. I also thank god for my Boyfriend. Instead of arguing with me that my research is bunk and he knows better (which he could arguably do because he is the smartest guy I know) He is helping me with my research. He's handling the research for finding case studies that I qualify for. He's awesome. They both are and I am very very lucky to have them both.

No comments:

Post a Comment