“Couldn’t God ‘share the wealth’ a bit?” a friend asked after learning I had recently been diagnosed with fibromyalgia. “Don’t you already have enough chronic illnesses?”
I certainly think I have enough, and I have no interest in proving my strength or indelible spirit with the old, obnoxious platitude, “God only gives us as much as we can handle.” My amount of illnesses most certainly does not make me want to boast, “It’s okay, guys. I can’t go out with you tonight because my back hurts too bad, but God thinks I’m stronger than you.”
Sometimes my excessive illnesses present an additional paranoia that acquaintances are whispering rumors about the crazy hypochondriac. But, I gotta tell you that I just don’t know how the hell you fake a colonoscopy to get a colitis diagnosis. I’m fairly certain that you can’t convince a surgeon to give you corneal transplants “just for funsies” either. I’m fucked up for real, y’all.
I could wallow in self-pity and curse my dreadful luck. Rather, I’m going to focus on the silver linings. Therefore, I now provide you with the silver linings for a few of my illnesses. To demonstrate these advantages, please imagine I am making the following declarations to my spouse.
· Bipolar Disorder: “Fuck, honey, I’m depressed! You change the shit diapers and do the damn laundry! I’m staying in bed all day.”
· Colitis: “No, honey, I don’t want to eat at that restaurant. It might bother my colitis. Let’s go here instead.”
· Fibromyalgia: “Sweetie, my joints are so sore. Can I please get a thirty minute back massage over here? It would really help with my fibromyalgia.”
· Eczema: “Hey babe, I’m going out with my girlfriends tonight. I’m not wearing my wedding ring because it’s been irritating my eczema. Okay?”*
o *Mother-in-law disclaimer: I have never been unfaithful to your son. I just like dancing and free drinks.
· Carpal Tunnel: “Sorry, you know I can’t give you a hand job. It hurts too much.”
· TMJ: “Sorry, you know I can’t give you a blow job. It hurts too much.”
So, what have we learned from this list? I suppose the lesson could be to always look on the bright side of things. However, I do believe the real take-away is that my husband’s life blows. Sorry, babe. I bet no one is wishing God would have shared the wealth more than my spouse. I may have been burdened with a number of illnesses, but I was also blessed with a patient and loving partner.