This morning as I was using the towel bar to lower myself onto the toilet, I had a thought. What if this towel bar gives out?
Every inch of me is screaming with pain. I can hardly move, and I’m reduced to asking Dan for help with the most absurd things. “Hey, if I put the chicken patties in the toaster oven, will you assemble the sandwiches?”
When things get this bad, I can’t help but try to identify a reason for my suffering. I let myself get cold yesterday, sitting outside while Dan did some yard cleanup. Maybe my muscles don’t like the cold. I had an alcoholic beverage three days ago, maybe it’s taking this long to give me a hangover? My food diary shows I haven’t taken a diclofenac in a week, maybe I’ve got some inflammation that’s raging out of control (even though none of my numerous medical test results point to a problem with inflammation). I started having two cups of coffee a day. Maybe the coffee creamer I use is poisoning me.
It’s hard to accept what’s more likely true—that nothing I’m doing is causing the pain and nothing I can do will make it go away.
That’s why I wish people would stop fucking asking me if I’ve tried going vegan, or cutting out carbs, or eating only organic, or exercising more. In the past 18 months, I’ve tried everything, okay? I don’t want to feel like this, and I certainly don’t enjoy every little aspect of my life being scrutinized like I somehow brought this upon myself.
Besides, if a random alcoholic treat or piece of candy with Yellow #5 in it or a processed chicken breast was so dangerous, the entire fucking world would be ending. Your garbage men would have to quit their jobs because the noise from the truck’s compactor would make them puke. The people stocking the shelves at your local grocer would be fired because they couldn’t lift a 12 oz. can of beans above their belly buttons.
What really gets in my craw are healthy people admonishing people with illnesses over their dietary choices. “Oh, I went 100% gluten free and I feel so much better. You’re not doing yourself any favors by eating that PB&J.”
In my mind I’m like, Let me get this straight, your perfectly healthy self went gluten free and now you feel even better?
Go die in a tire fire, asshole.
This kind of exchange with people has been bothering me for a while. I’ve just been absorbing the rage and convincing myself that people who do this “mean well.” But today I’m like, why is that I’m always the one who has to assume the best of Person B in these situations?
See, I have always been terribly hard on myself, so the first thing that ever came to my mind when my health started deteriorating was that I was doing some horrible thing to myself. When someone comes along and asks these “helpful” diet and exercise questions, it’s insulting.
Whatever’s wrong with me just is.