Social media is full of these pictures:
The “I am in the hospital and here is the IV to prove it.” This particular picture is of my daughter’s arm. But this was not a one time picture. For someone chronically ill, these pictures are all too familiar. I have over 50 of them just from my daughter’s ER and hospital stays.People post these pictures and get immediate attention, that is well deserved, being in the hospital is scary. But what happens when this is the norm for you? When life doesn’t get better 3 days after your hospital IV picture!
Chronically ill are forgotten.
There is no “IV” hospital picture that embodies the daily struggle and emotionally beaten down human being.
Friends fall away. Family falls away. You find friends online that are chronically ill or have a child that is ill and you find understanding from them, someone you don’t even know. Social media connections become your only real solace. The people who you thought would be there for you have disappeared behind excuses.
JUST like abuse. It doesn’t go away. You don’t just experience this trauma and go right back to living the next day. People go on with their lives and forget that your life stopped. Family and friends couldn’t even hang on for my sick daughter. They became frustrated that when they were available, when they could fit her in, that she was vomitting and couldn’t see them. They never really asked, never really checked in, never really knew the daily truth of living with an illness. Then they blamed her because they “tried” but she just couldn’t do it. Nope, that one day she couldn’t. Sometimes with someone who is fighting an illness you have to work around them, actually choose to be selfless. I’ve seen some incredibly selfish people after my daughter became ill. My sweet girl would have someone come over, barely able to sit up, and support THEM through whatever current issue THEY were facing. She wasn’t able to go to her own prom because she was so sick and YET she did her friend’s make up for them for their prom. Their terms. It took my daughter a month to recover from sitting up that long. But my daughter is the most unselfish person that I have ever known. Her friends, they may show up after the “IV social media picture” but it’s pretty simple to visit someone in the hospital on your own terms. I have been more broken hearted for my daughter than anyone else. Because for most people, because she is ill, she has been forgotten. She has 2 friends that stuck by her among countless that hurt her while she was already down.
I know the feeling. As soon as I became unable to drive, it was painfully clear who only saw me when I visited them. 99% of people I considered friends and family, I rarely saw anymore because I was common denominator in keeping that relationship afloat.
I know the feeling. As soon as I was abused I became forgotten.
My daughter and I deserve better. For me, I am a big girl, I can handle it. I shouldn’t have had to when I was a teenager but I grew up knowing what forgotten feels like. But I am not my mother. I will not forget my daughter. I will not stop fighting for her, standing up for her, being her strength when she has none. I will do all I can until my body cannot do anymore. Because she deserves that and SO much more. Heaven help anyone who hurts her. Her two current friends have seen my wrath at protecting my child. She can be 2, 20 or 40, I will always have her back.
THAT IS WHAT MOTHERS ARE SUPPOSED TO DO!
Abuse victims and chronically ill are forgotten. But not by me. I see you.