Every person who suffers from a chronic illness (be it Parkinson, cancer, a heart disease or brain dysfunction) is faced with tough choices that regards their life.
You have to be careful when to get your treatment, what doctor might help you the best and so on. You have to choose what to do with your life, looking from the perspective of their illness.
Can you do that or should you do that? Can you work in that field or should you settle for less? Can you get married and have kids when you can guess what effects your illness might have on those close to you?
Can you have a normal life and tell people you suffer from illness X? The answer is yes..only if…
From my point of view, the worst part of having a chronic illness is not the limitations, nor the pain or the treatment you must go through for every day of your life. The worst part is the inter-human relations.
Let`s assume that you suffer from illness X. You have a friend (let’s call him Y) which doesn`t know about your illness. Everything is alright, you go out, have a good laugh, do everything together and he treats you as “one of the gang”, as a regular person.
Once your friend learns that you suffer from X, everything changes. He starts wearing “white gloves” (hypothetical ones) around you, asking you if you should do the thing he wants to do or if you are allowed to do another thing. You don’t do everything together anymore because he tries to help you deal with your condition (I hate this word). He`s careful at what you do, eat and everything else.
You feel pity coming out of his every single pore. You feel it in the way he looks at you. You feel it in the distance he puts between you two.
People should start behaving around “sick people” (I hate this expression also) as they act around healthy ones. People can help those with chronic illnesses by simply acting normal. Most of us know how to manage our illness, so we don’t need you to help us without asking us.
P.S.: I suffer from grand mal epilepsy.