How do you decide what to share?
For starters, I just went out in public wearing a sweatshirt that says “Ask me about my Crohn’s disease.” And since I share blog updates on my personal Facebook page, my healthy friends can see all sorts of unflattering stories and photos. Being open about my health isn’t always easy, but it is mostly worth the effort and risk. Sometimes people are jerks, so we just have to forget about them and move on.
My health conditions might, in theory anyway, be easily concealed someday. Nobody can tell I’m struggling just from a superficial glance, but my issues come up in conversation pretty early on. I suppose I could lie and throw out some silly responses to health-related questions, but I’m not good at lying and I am not creative enough to gracefully skirt the truth. If you have any ideas for glossing things over, please leave them in the comments section!
Sometimes I am uncomfortable talking about my current situation because I’m worried about being perceived negatively. I end up disclosing the basics to everyone I have to interact with for a while, and I refrain from the gory details unless they are very curious and ask specific questions.
I’m afraid I do not have any useful advice for one of the top social worries in the IBD, ostomy, and chronic illness communities: talking about health in a dating context. I know my limited experiences have been less than ideal. A few men who have expressed interest in me are pansies who can’t handle physical malfunctions, and some are creepers who sorta seem fine with my health issues, but they’re not so good with social boundaries.
I don’t bother hiding my physical conditions because people are going to find out the basics anyway. I don’t have the energy. Speaking of which, I apologize for the quality of this post. I’m tired.