I am Sick, NOT Stupid.
Many years ago I heard a joke that was going around and it went like this.
A guy was going home from the auto mechanic and just as he was passing a psychiatric center, a wheel fell off his car. He stopped, surveyed the situation and realized that the mechanic must have been distracted and never put on the nuts for the last tire. In his frustration he yelled out, “Oh God, what am I going to do now!” A patient who was standing by the fence, observing the action shouted out, “take a nut from each of the other three wheels and bolt the tire back on. The drive then said, “That’s a good idea, why are you in the psychiatric center?” The patient answered, “I am here because I am sick…not stupid.”
The reason this joke came to mind is when I was in the hospital recovering from a stroke, the staff doctor came in and asked questions. When he asked as to the medicines I was taking, he practically looked right through me and focused on my father’s faced and asked him. He directed it to my father who was visiting! I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I started to answer with name, amount, time taken and my various side effects and his eyes widened. He again turned to my father and then asked him another medical question meant for me. My father pointed to me and I answered, again in detail. The third time that doctor again started to ask my father a question meant for me. I politely stopped him and stated that I was the patient not my father and I know more about my aliment than my father does. My Lupus may have effected my joints, my fatigue, or my skin …but last I checked it did not give me a “smaller” brain.
Sometimes people treat me as if I can’t take care of myself and while there are times I need help, I have a life of my own, making my own decisions and my own opinions. Talk to me not about me, if you want an answer ask me and then respect my opinion. I have a chronic sickness, I am not chronically stupid. It’s still me, in here stuck in this sick body.
Author: Christine Miserandino
Christine Miserandino is the founder of butyoudontlooksick.com. She has won numerous awards for her writing. She has been featured in newspapers, magazines and television. She was a guest expert for Alliance Health, LupusConnect.com and community TV host for WebMD.com. She prides herself on being a patient advocate, Online Influencer, and health brand ambassador but her favorite role is that of a mommy. You can find her at @bydls on twitter or on facebook.