You don’t look sick.
Indeed I probably don’t. Partially thanks to make up, but mainly due to the other thing; the elephant in the room.
I am that elephant.
I was never the smallest person, but I certainly wasn’t this either. I had confidence & could shop easily and didn’t feel even nearly as paranoid. In fact, the first time I was incarcerated in the NHS hell hole, I lost a shed load of weight. Was the typical get ill, look ill, lose weight scenario; only benefit of having norovirus over New Year.
I am now 2 years 8 months in to my ongoing relationship with steroids. As with all long term relationships there has been some weight gain… a whole person in fact.
Over 10 stone.
It’s not the easiest topic for me to talk about & my god have I had my moments of anger and weakness. I have no choice but to deal with this and sadly accept it.
I can’t lose weight. Not on steroids. There is simply nothing I can do, at the moment. The added kick in the teeth is that at every flare my dose is increased, so today my steroids have been doubled. Higher dose means increased side effects. Better stock up on Hobnobs.
The thing is, I know my deal, people around me know my deal, but that lot out there, the general public, they don’t. I actually use any opportunity to tell people, just so they judge me a little less… “Oh hi, nice to meet you. Yeah I’m friends with soandso. I’m on steroids btw”.
People judge and people are mean. Sometimes people judge and do mean out loud too. I can’t always wear my ‘I’m on steroids tshirt’ & I can’t bite everytime someone is mean. Elephants don’t forget though and it’s just another element of this situation that causes me untold pain. I know people look at me and think I sit at home feasting on chocolate, takeaway and small villages. I know I jest about the Hobnobs but it isn’t literally an everyday breakfast. I do the same, I see photos, I have mirrors and I judge too; sometimes it shocks me, just how big I am now, how my face is different and helpless I feel.
The other element of steroids is rage. Which is another reason why I can’t bite. The temptation to put people in their place is sometimes too much and I have caved. I have told people that I need this to stay alive; brutal but true. I have told people that my doctors aren’t concerned so they shouldn’t be either. I have cursed, shouted and cried none of which change anything.
I don’t want sympathy at all. I want understanding and a bacon sandwich.